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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How Plants Find Water



R. RELLÁN-ÁLVAREZ ET AL/ELIFE 2015

Plants are familiar. We live with them, tend them, and rely on them for food and materials. We take them for granted and fail to recognize that plants are amazing.

Vertebrates develop in wombs or eggs, but plant roots respond to outside environments, revealing sensitivity to life-sustaining elements around them.

José Dinneny wants us to see plants as stranger things. He says, "They’re able to integrate information and make coherent decisions without a nervous system, without a brain."

Dinneny studies how plants find water. He and his colleagues developed a system to observe plant growth called GLO-Roots. It makes roots in soil easier to watch because the roots glow as they spread through the soil. Computer analysis of images tracks where root tissues luminesce as various genes turn on in the underground observatory, giving researchers clues to how roots detect and respond to their environment.

Read more here.

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