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

Fast Breeding

Fast Breeding Crops that can survive the heat, and drought. That are nutritious, but also resistant against pests and diseases. A whole list of wishes. Preferably ready by today, and if that is not possible then by tomorrow, but no later. Hooked as we are to the quick fulfilment of our desires and wishes. ForgettingContinue reading “Fast Breeding”

From day to night

From day to night Licht and dark, regulate a plants growth and development. Day and night, each bringing their own set of regulators. But the transition goes gradually from the day to the night shift. Just like how the dark is slowly consuming the light at the start of the night. The important regulator ofContinue reading From day to night

Finding balance

Finding balance Miraculous, when you start thinking about it. Each plant, from the tiniest tot the gigantic, grow from their growth regions. Small groups of cells with as main goal: slowly dividing and no specialisation. By each division these cells place their daughter cells outside their group. These then divide a few more times andContinue reading Finding balance

Defying gravity

Defying gravity Roots, for a plant how the grow is life shaping. Straight down, for groundwater uptake. Or maybe sideways, for phosphate uptake. To regulate this precisely is crucial. Plants use gravity for growing downwards. About this lots is already known. But growing sideways, against gravity, that is more of a mystery. To find outContinue reading Defying gravity

Light on: Go

Light on: Go Water is an essential part of photosynthesis, the reaction that makes energy for plants. To get the water to the reaction, veins are essential. These pipelines transport the water form the roots to the light. As the water needs to get to the light, light influences the placement of these veins. Consequently,Continue reading “Light on: Go”

Compact soil protocol

Compact soil protocol For good rooting a not to close packed soil is a must for plants. When the ground is to compact it costs the roots more effort to find a way through. In agriculture, this is increasingly a problem. Here, intensive use of the ground results in compact soils. More difficult to accessContinue reading “Compact soil protocol”

Fruit development

Fruit development Strawberries, apples, pears, bananas, but also cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkins, are all fruits. All protecting their seeds and distributing them. Because we, and animals are picking them, taking, and eating them. There are also countless seedless fruits. Bred specially for us. But we actually don’t know how this is possible. The developmentContinue reading “Fruit development”

Excel through collaboration

Excel through collaboration Fungi, we see them mostly as the mushrooms that stick their heads above the ground in autumn. But underground there are whole networks of them. Plants make good use of those. They collaborate with Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Exchanging sugars for nutrients. And are so able to excel during difficult times. Not onlyContinue reading “Excel through collaboration”

Shooting seeds

Shooting seeds Plants have different strategies to spread their seeds. There are those that use animals, with the seeds traveling in the fur or stomach of the animal. Then there are those that trust the wind to disperse their seeds. A third group of plants spreads them all by themselves. They shoot their seeds asContinue reading “Shooting seeds”

Pausing growth

Pausing growth Just like ours, the environment of plants is in flux, changing constantly. There can be a drought, or a shortage of nutrients. To survive, plants adjust their growth. By shortage of water a plant will grow little to none. Only to start growing again after rain has fallen. For long it was notContinue reading “Pausing growth”

Relay messengers

Relay messengers A fast response is needed when pathogenic bacteria or fungi enters a plant. Then the plant can try to actively stop this intruder, starting an immune reaction. For this, the recogniser sends a message to the whole cell, who in turn forwards it to the whole plant. Like a relay. Although most ofContinue reading “Relay messengers”

Heat gives infections a chance

Heat gives infections a chance Through higher temperatures due to climate change plants get into more trouble. They get stressed faster. By heat. By drought. But also, it makes them more infection prone. At higher temperatures, the immune response upon pathogen infection does not happen. Giving the pathogens free access. The increasingly common occurrence ofContinue reading “Heat gives infections a chance”

Heat and drought, what now?

Heat and drought, what now? Both heat and drought occur more regular, and more often together. They can cause lots of trouble. Like people, plants don’t like it. They get stressed. Especially when there is both heat and drought. Heat and drought are asking for conflicting reactions. When there is just heat, a plant willContinue reading “Heat and drought, what now?”

Recognising salt

Recognising salt Salty soil and salty water are fatal to plants. It pushes them out of balance. To avoid this damage, plants have a salt-action plan. They turn on genes that help dealing with too much salt in a plant. They adjust their growth, avoiding the salty ground. But plants need salt as well, inContinue reading “Recognising salt”

Early communication

Early communication Like plants, plant cells cannot change their place. For forming functioning organs, good communication is a must. To tell the cell when to divide, and what its job is. This communication is most important at the verry start. During the development of the embryos the growth regions are established. When this does notContinue reading “Early communication”

How to predict winter

How to predict winter It’s a challenge, year after year, to stop growing on time. And, after winter, to start again. Annual plants have it easy. They germinate, grow, flower, set seeds, disperse them, and die. Simple. Easy, first one thing than the next. Being a perennial is not that easy. Every year you needContinue reading “How to predict winter”

Oxygen shortage

Oxygen shortage Plants, you can find them everywhere, even on top of a mountain. Circumstances are different there, on top of the mountain, than here, below at sea level. The air, for example, is thinner. Which causes problems. Even though, plants breath CO2, oxygen is important. So important, they have a special detection system forContinue reading “Oxygen shortage”

Touching: No thanks

Touching: No thanks A path across a field of grass, noticeable because the grass is shorter. Grass we often walk over grows slower. It is one of the most eye-catching examples how plants react to repeated touch. They don’t like it. Above ground plants grow less fast, and flower later. Below ground, they anchor themselvesContinue reading “Touching: No thanks”

Precision insecticide

Precision insecticide Fields full of crops are an all you can eat buffet for many insects. They eat the plants. Not something a farmer wishes, as it lowers the yield. The most effective method: killing all the insects with insecticides. Although, this is also not something we like to do. A dilemma for the farmer.Continue reading “Precision insecticide”


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