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.
A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
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