26 Oct '15, 10pm

BTI and Cornell scientists unravel root cause of plant twists and turns #plantsci https://t.co/b7Ui7…

To feed the world’s burgeoning population, producers must grow crops in more challenging terrain – where plant roots must cope with barriers. To that end, Cornell University physicists and Boyce Thompson Institute plant biologists have uncovered a valuable plant root action, in that roots – when their downward path is blocked, as often occurs in rocky soil – display a “grow and switch” behavior, now reported in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . The group observed growth patterns arising from how plant roots cope with limitations of their gravity sensors. When there is no root barrier, its growth is straight down. When barriers are present, roots coil in some instances and wave in other situations. “We found that the roots make planar coils when the barrier they encounter is flat, and transition to wavy geometry when the barrier is at an angle,” s...

Full article: http://bti.cornell.edu/news/scientists-unravel-root-cause...

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