Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Plants discriminate between self and non self


Two peas in a pod may not be so friendly when planted in the ground and even two parts of the same plant, once separated may treat the former conjoined twin as an alien "enemy," according to a Penn State researcher.

"We were looking at how plants determine who is a competitor when competing with other roots for limited resources," says Dr. Omer Falik, postdoctoral researcher in plant ecology. "There is no reason for roots to fight if they belong to the same plant."

The question was, do plants recognize their own roots and avoid competing with them and how do they do this? Working with common garden peas, Falik worked with Dr. Ariel Novoplansky at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. The researchers used plants that had two roots and planted them in a chamber that forced them to grow a specified distance from each other and from roots of a neighboring plant.

"We found that the roots grew significantly more and longer secondary roots on the non-self side," Falik told attendees at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America today (Aug 8) in Montreal, Canada.

The mechanism for this self/non-self discrimination could be based on either individually specific chemical recognition – such as that known from plant reproductive systems -- or physiological coordination between roots that belong to the same plant. To test this, the researchers used plants that had two roots and two shoots and split them into two separate plants that were genetically identical, but physiologically separated. The plants acted as if their separated twin was a non-self plant, even though genetically it was identical. "This eliminated the possibility that the mechanism was based on specific chemical recognition," says Falik. "The results prove that at least in the studied plants, self/non-self root discrimination is based on physiological coordination between roots belonging to the same plant. Such coordination might be based on internal pulsing of hormonal or electrical signals which desynchronize when the plants are separated."

Falik is currently working with Dr. David Eissenstat, professor of woody plant physiology and Dr. Roger Koide, professor of horticultural ecology on examining how the latitude of a plants origin affects the respiratory responses of plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil temperatures.

A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod

21.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Second research flight into zero gravity

21.10.2016 | Life Sciences

How Does Friendly Fire Happen in the Pancreas?

21.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>