Study of the normal functioning of plants and plant cells

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Is there a standard definition for plant “maturity”?

Is there a species-agnostic metric for identifying plant maturity? There seems to be plenty of literature defining life-history stages for specific crops, but it is not clear if there is a generic ...
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1answer
95 views

What part of the cactus photosynthesizes?

In general, plants photosynthesize through their leaves and, to a much lesser extent, through their stems. Cacti, however, have no visible leaves, but instead spines. In what part of the cactus does ...
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3answers
236 views

Can plants get cancer?

I can't think of any reason why plants wouldn't be able to get cancer, but I've never heard of a plant growing a tumor. I've also never seen a plant with a noticeable abnormal growth. Can plants get ...
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2answers
107 views

Plants without bacteria? is it theoretically possible?

I know from school, that all live on the Earth need bacteria as low-level "machines" that break down/extract/convert/produce chemical elements and combinations, other high-level organisms needed. But ...
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1answer
1k views

How does plant grafting work?

Plant grafting is a process whereby a piece of one plant is inserted into another and results in a change of the original plant. For example, grafting a piece of a lemon tree into a bitter orange tree ...
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2answers
458 views

Do plant-animal cross races exist?

Plants and animals have the following distinct properties: Plants live from solar energy by photosynthesis, they use solar energy to make sugar and oxygen out of carbon dioxide, which gives them ...
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2answers
1k views

Does Sansevieria trifasciata really absorb Carbon Dioxide at night?

There's a claim that Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother-in-law’s Tongue) generates oxygen from carbon dioxide during the night. This seems surprising to me: that process requires energy; plants generate ...
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2answers
462 views

Is there any kind of immortality in plants?

I asked a question about immortality of hydra and leaned good things about senescence. Now I like to know about immortality signs in plants. If there is some kind of immortality in plants its process ...
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1answer
40 views

What's the simplest set-up to demonstrate soiless plant growth to middle school students?

I'm looking for a simple, inexpensive way to demonstrate that soil is not needed for plant growth to middle school students. I plan to germinate bean seeds in cotton, but where do I take it from ...
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1answer
30 views

Can a plant be induced to accelerate transpiration?

Just what the title states. I wonder whether it is possible to fire a chemical switch - sort-of like injecting adrenaline in a human, to accelerate a particular process in a plant. For example, ...
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1answer
55 views

Arabidopsis thaliana RCSB active site gene mutant

I'm looking for an Arabidopsis thaliana gene listed in RCSB with a clear mode of function and active site. In addition it needs to have an obvious phenotype when knocked out like severely retarded ...
3
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1answer
78 views

How can GMO contaminate biologic plants?

Let consider two use cases : I am the only farmer within a 200km radius. I first grow GMO plants. A few cycles later I decide to grow bio plants, so I uproot all of the GMO plants and plant fresh ...
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2answers
3k views

How do trees use Adhesion and Cohesion to move water against gravity?

I have an AP Bio class where I have to name 3 properties of water and I chose adhesion and cohesion for one of them. I'm having trouble finding out how exactly trees use adhesion and cohesion to move ...
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0answers
107 views

How does a plant decide when to grow a branch? [duplicate]

As a plant grows, at some point the first branch forms. As it continues, branches grow new branches, and so on, in a seemingly random way. Is it random, or is it driven by the environment (heat or ...
7
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2answers
83 views

Exactly which amino acids are phosphorylated in higher plants during state transitions?

I know it is usually stated as the threonine residue near the N-terminus of either light harvesting complex (lhc) b1 or lhcb2, but if this is somehow lost, say in a mutant, is the system flexible ...
4
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2answers
695 views

What is the effect of a pure-oxygen environment on a plant?

Just read What's the effect of oxygen deficit on plants? ; and wondered whether the opposite would have any effect on a plant. That is to say, if a potted plant were placed under a bell-jar and ...
9
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1answer
162 views

Black bumps on the cut surface of an avocado

I cut an underripe avocado in half and put half of it, without the pit but with the peel, in the refrigerator. A day later, I see very small black bumps along the cut surface. What are they? What ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Would a plant survive if it was watered using hard-water?

Hard water is water with high mineral/salt content. I'm told that a potted plant watered with a salt solution dries out sooner or later. Is this true? If so, would a plant survive if watered using ...
4
votes
1answer
250 views

How does a plant cutting develop roots?

Please correct me if my understanding is incorrect; I understand branch/stem, and root are composed of different types of cells. Yet in some plants (e.g. rose, bougainvillea) a cutting from the stem ...
2
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1answer
268 views

Will fruit/seed of a bonsai yield another bonsai plant/tree?

With practice one can create a bonsai; no complicated modification of the DNA in a high-end lab required. The bonsai will even beget bonsai fruit. What I am curious about is - if such bonsai fruit ...
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0answers
37 views

Where can I find approximate rates of sequestration of CO2 for different species of algae?

For a study, I want to compare the rates of CO2 sequestration and fixation of a few different species of algae. I could not find any data on the sequestration rates. Any pointers to where I can find ...
5
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1answer
323 views

Do all plants photosynthesize with equal efficiency?

Just what the title states. Given identical, necessary and favourable conditions (Probably nutrients, humidity, and light but what I mean is all necessary requirements are fulfilled) - Is ...
6
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1answer
280 views

Can I estimate leaf temperature from air temperature? What other information would be required?

Physiological measurements such as respiration rate and assimilation rate depend on temperature. Most papers report tissue temperature (e.g. leaf temperature for leaf measurements), although some ...
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2answers
1k views

Online course on Plant Taxonomy and Physiology

After following a course in Permaculture, I realised that if I want to get serious about it, I need to be able to distinguish plants. So I am looking for an online Video course on Plant Taxonomy and ...
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2answers
1k views

Why animals can move and plants cannot in general?

To clarify, I think the answer should be able to explain: What are animals? What are plants? What's the difference between animals and plants (How do biologists differentiate them, if they ...
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3answers
395 views

Why do some trees have a life span, while some don't?

I have heard that there is no limit on the growth of trees, but then why do some trees, such as boxelders and poplars, tend to live shorter than redwoods, for example? Some advertisements for improved ...
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1answer
187 views

How do plants intake minerals through their leaves?

How do plants intake the fertilizer when it is sprayed all over the leaf surface as a foliar feed?
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1answer
51 views

Why are some plants frost tender?

Why do some plants have the ability to stand frost, while others can't? Does it have to do with the size of the water vacuoles in the plant cells?
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4answers
995 views

How do trees manage to grow equally in all directions?

I was walking down a road with these beautifully huge trees when this question occurred to me. Large trees with many thick branches have to grow equally in all directions, or they would tip over. Is ...
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1answer
90 views

Does a theory exist for the formation of thylakoid structure?

I'm interested in how the structure of the thylakoid forms into its characteristic highly rugose stacks of grana. What causes the thylakoid to invaginate and self-associate, albeit with what appear to ...
12
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2answers
854 views

How does a tree trunk sprout and grow after being cut?

After I cut trees into logs and remove the branches in winter, they start growing. They sprout out and grow completely normal looking stems and leaves and maintain them all summer. The sprouts mostly ...
12
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3answers
160 views

Why do some fruits have a much wider range of acceptable sizes than others?

Some fruits such as pumpkins can grow to be 100 lbs. Under different conditions, the same variety of pumpkin can produce a 15 lb. fruit. Both plants are healthy, and look the same except for their ...
6
votes
1answer
472 views

Do immature fruits perform photosynthesis?

Most immature fruits are green: peppers, pine cones, plums, lots of them. I want to know if the green is from chlorophyll in the cells. Do the fruit cells perform photosynthesis? When you cover a ...
7
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1answer
921 views

Can any plant regenerate missing tissue?

I have not yet found a plant that, when an insect eats a hole in one of its leaves, it can regenerate the lost tissue. Many plants will grow a new stem if the old one is cut, but it is not a perfect ...
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1answer
1k views

What's the effect of oxygen deficit on plants?

As I know all cells require oxygen. So my question is how efficiently can plants operate in no-oxygen atmosphere? Do all plants produce enough oxygen for themselves? Can they consume their own oxygen ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

If only dicots have pith, what is the foam in the middle of cornstalks?

I've heard that the only plants that have pith are dicots, because of the shape of their vascular bundle. If that is true, what is the foam inside of the corn plants, which are monocots?
8
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1answer
541 views

If the xylem of a woody plant is composed of dead tissue, how does sapwood become heartwood?

If the xylem of a tree is composed entirely of dead tissue, then that means the sapwood is dead. If so, how does it transform into heartwood, and what starts the process?
7
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2answers
351 views

How do white Caladiums perform enough photosynthesis to support their mass?

In some white caladiums, there is less than a square inch of green space spread over the whole leaf. How do these plants perform the photosynthesis necessary to support the large leaves, the roots, ...
8
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1answer
185 views

What is the maximum potential sucrose concentration of plant sap? What keeps plants below this potential?

I am interested in identifying the maximum potential dissolved sucrose (%w/w) that plant sap could have, and which (biological, physical, chemical) factors constrain the observed sucrose ...
7
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1answer
202 views

Compare and contrast “Rubisco activity” and “assimilation rate” (is there a difference, and if so, what is it)?

I am confused about the variable "RuBisCO activity". How is it measured, and is it any different from the net assimilation rate? Based on some background reading (e.g. Kling, 2008; Lambers et al ...
4
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1answer
204 views

Why dont “growing degree days” have units of degrees Celsius (or do they)?

From Wikipedia: Growing degree days (GDD), also called growing degree units (GDUs), are a heuristic tool in phenology. GDD are a measure of heat accumulation used by horticulturists, gardeners, ...
8
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1answer
116 views

How would a warm winter affect maple sap production?

The past winter (2011-2012) was warmer than usual. Trees are normally tapped in late February when the daily maximum temperature goes above freezing. However, assuming that there have been ...
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2answers
1k views

If I graft two trees together while young, will they grow as one plant?

If I were to graft two apple saplings together, by bending the tops toward each other and lashing them together, will the plants grow as one and benefit from one another, or will they be fighting each ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) evolve its leaf-closing mechanism?

Why did the sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica, evolve its leaf closing mechanism? Does it heip in a heavy storm? Does it scare off whatever animals might think it a good meal?
7
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1answer
217 views

How do plants 'tell time' for circadian rhythms based on a ~24 cycle?

I've read that many plants have some sort of circadian rhythm where they perform a certain action on a cycle of about 24 hours, like the mimosa plant opening and closing its leaves. Obviously this is ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How would a plant sprout and grow in a zero gravity environment?

Have any experiments been carried out involving sprouting and growing plants in a zero gravity environment? If so, what was the outcome? How did the plants sprout out of the soil without gravity? Did ...
3
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2answers
114 views

Would a plant need light if the chemicals gained by photosynthesis were given through the roots?

If you took the chemicals a plant gains through photosynthesis and put it through the plants' roots or by tubes, would the plant need light? If not, how would it respond to the treatment?
9
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1answer
376 views

Why can you graft two unrelated cacti successfully, but you cannot do this on garden trees?

Any cactus can be grafted onto any other cactus, and even the most unlike of them grow together. My latest graft was a Schlumbergera truncata scion on an Opuntia microdasys rootstock. This kind of ...
6
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1answer
613 views

How does water move throughout plants?

I haven't yet found a decent explanation for how water moves throughout plants. It does seem to travel more efficiently upward than out or down. Why is that? How does it travel through the plant?
13
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1answer
2k views

How does a plant grow before photosynthesis is possible?

During photosynthesis, a plant translates CO2, water and light into O2. I assume the carbon C is further used for the growing process. I wonder how the plant grows before the time where photosynthesis ...