Plant & zo

The science of plants and more

Plants, maybe just hearing the word makes your hart beat quicker. Maybe not, up to now you just viewed plants as decorations. Not inconceivable. But plants are so much more. They are essential for us. They give us the oxygen we breathe. Give us the food we eat. Plants extremely interestingly even without knowing this. Did you know plants can do calculus? That they can detect nutrients, and grow actively towards them? That they use insects, not only for pollinating their flowers, but also as defence against other insects? Here you will read about this and more. About the ingenuity of plants, the discoveries about this made by researchers, and how plants actual do all those things.

Latest Blogs

A good place to land

A good place to land In an impulse you pick a fluffy head of a dandelion, breath in and blow the stem clear. Hundreds fluffy seeds fill the air. On their way to find a place for growing into a new dandelion. How do those seed know the best place? When you look up closeContinue reading “A good place to land”

About sugar and starch

About sugar and starch Just like us plants don’t like a lack of energy. During the day plants get their energy from sunlight and CO2. To prevent running out of energy during the night, plants turn part of that energy into starch. When there is not enough or no sunlight, plants breakdown this starch intoContinue reading “About sugar and starch”

A glimpse from the past

A glimpse from the past Photosynthesis, turning CO2 into sugars, that is something plants are good in, or not? True, plants can do this. We even recognise it as one of the major feats of plants. But to say that they can do it extremely well, not really. For plant scientist like to see ifContinue reading “A glimpse from the past”

How to stop

How to stop To grow or not to grow, that is the question. It influences the form of an organ and organism, such as a  plant. Therefore, the question when to start growing and when to stop is an important one. It is also the question that occupies plant root researchers from Germany. Root growthContinue reading How to stop

Calculating plants

Calculating plants Plants are cool. Just that they can convert sunlight into sugar should justify this. But plants do so much more. One of the things they can do that I found just astounding is their ability to adjust the speed with which they turn starch into sugar. Of all the energy plants get fromContinue reading “Calculating plants”

Light makes plants move

Light makes plants move Light, the most important energy source for a plant. It is not always easily accessible. Anchored in the ground, plants can not step out of the shadow and into the light. But that is not to say that they don’t try to reach for the light. They do. By moving theirContinue reading “Light makes plants move”

Caught in the moment

Caught in the moment Evolution, a slow process, difficult to see in action. Often it is so slow, only after a long time, you notice something has changed. Then, try finding out what caused the change. Sometimes, however, it is at once clear something has changed. An organ or a limp is missing, misplaced, orContinue reading “Caught in the moment”

Natural variation in the wild

Natural variation in the wild In general, researchers want to have as much control over their experiments as possible. This helps to say with certainty that the effect they see is due to the treatment they gave. The more variation during experiments, the less certain they are they can point to the cause of theContinue reading “Natural variation in the wild”

Germinating with FLOE1

Germinating with FLOE1 Cool, that is what you can call the latest research in seed germination. Researchers found that when water is taken up by a seed, a prion-like protein is separating itself, in a kind of gel, from the rest of the cell. Seeds have the remarkable property that they can survive long periods,Continue reading “Germinating with FLOE1”

Searching for light

Searching for light After germinating, the plant searches its way to the light. There it can start photosynthesis to obtain sugars, energy. To find light the plant stretches its hypocotyl, the part of the stem between the root and the embryogenic leaves, as far as it can. This is enabled by energy that is storedContinue reading “Searching for light”

Natural insecticide

Natural insecticide Plants have an arsenal of weapons to deal with insects. Think, releasing for the insect unpalatable smells, or maybe smells that attract predator insects that eat the plant eating ones. But also think, releasing a, for insects, deadly toxin. This all makes sure that a plant will survive a plague of hungry insects.Continue reading “Natural insecticide”

Light lets plants breathe

Light lets plants breathe Researchers from Singapore discovered how light lets plants breathe. Plants breathe using stomata, these are special cells located on the underside of the leaf. In contrast to normal plant cells, these cells are not connected to each other with a cell wall. This is creating a pore through which air canContinue reading “Light lets plants breathe”

Evening and morning plants

Evening and morning plants Just like people, plants have a biological clock. This helps plants to recognise when it is morning and when the evening starts. The biological clock consists, just like our analogue timepiece, through an ingenious radar work of interconnecting feedback loops. These are self-correcting so that not every passing cloud is signallingContinue reading “Evening and morning plants”


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