By using transgenic tobacco plants that do not shed their lower leaves, they were able to show that shaded old leaves become a burden to a plant because they no longer photosynthesize but still require energy to be maintained.
Moreover, the nutrients in these leaves can be more usefully employed by the plant when re-allocated to new leaves at the top of the canopy, where more light is available and higher photosynthetic rates can be attained.
Previously, theoretical modeling has been extensively used to investigate how plants should distribute their leaf area and nutrients to maximize their photosynthesis and fitness. However, a direct experimental test was lacking till now.
"Keeping up with the neighbors is important for plants in leaf canopies" Alex Boonman states, "because failure to project enough leaf area at the top of the canopy means that some other plant will do it, with shading and therefore diminished photosynthesis as the consequence." The transgenics, which were originally developed by Susheng Gan and Richard Amasino at the University of Wisconsin, indeed produced less leaf area in the upper canopy layer than normal plants and performed less well in competition exeriments.
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
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Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
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