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Questions tagged [plant-physiology]

Study of the normal functioning of plants and plant cells

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18 votes
4 answers
17k views

How do trees lift water higher than 10 meters?

The atmosphere pressure is 10 meters of water (approx). This means that it is impossible to lift water higher than 10 meters with vacuum or сapillary action (on Earth, under normal conditions). There ...
Suzan Cioc's user avatar
33 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
Amu's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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Gender and age-specific mutation rate in plants

Background General concept According to Cochran and Harpending (2013), mothers transmits on average a number $x$ of new mutations to their offspring. This number $x$ is independent of the age of the ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
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Are two colors (red + blue) necessary for LED grow lights, or would either color be sufficient?

Below are some chlorophyll absorption spectra from other answers here. There is strong absorption at both the blue/violet end, and the red end of the spectrum, and presumably both of these contribute ...
uhoh's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
13k views

Can plants produce oxygen at night (without light)?

I accidentally clicked on a "Top n X's that Y" result in google and found Top 9 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,588
9 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is there any kind of immortality in plants?

I asked a question about immortality of hydra and learned good things about senescence. Now I would like to know about immortality in plants, if there is some kind of immortality in plants and how ...
MySky's user avatar
  • 2,274
20 votes
2 answers
9k views

How will rising carbon dioxide levels in the troposphere affect photosynthetic producers?

Much discussion has been had about the affects of climate change on plantlife, but how will rising carbon dioxide concentrations affect the photosynthetic process itself? Since CO₂ is a reagent in ...
Poshpaws's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
4k views

What types of light can't a plant photosynthesize in?

I have a plant on my desk, and it got me to wondering: Can my plant use the light from my monitors to photosynthesize? If so, what light (apart from green light, to a degree) can't plants use to ...
J_mie6's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
12k views

Why do animals use glycogen for their polysaccharide storage whereas plants use starch?

The polysaccharide storage form of glucose in animals is glycogen, whereas in plants it is starch. Both of these are polymers of α-glucose with α-l,4 glycosidic linkages and α-l,6 glycosidic branch ...
Kenny Kim's user avatar
  • 365
4 votes
4 answers
12k views

Photosynthesis: What Powers the Splitting of Water?

The splitting of water is an endergonic (non-spontaneous) reaction, and thus would require energy (chemical work to be done) in order to happen. In Photosystem II, an enzyme catalyzes this splitting, ...
LanguagesNamedAfterCofee's user avatar
40 votes
2 answers
12k views

Why do some vegetables taste bitter?

Bitter gourd, cucumber, etc. are bitter to taste. Which chemical causes bitterness in them? I found these when I searched online: this says that it is because of calcium, while this and this talk ...
Mesentery's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
Nikolaj-K's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a fundamental reason that plants cannot fix their own nitrogen?

Plants must have nitrogen to grow. According to the answer to this question, there are no plants that can fix their own nitrogen (without the help of bacteria). Plants get their nitrogen in the form ...
Volker Siegel's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
J. Musser's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

What chemicals and structures control the *direction* of plant growth in leaves, stems and roots?

If you want a specific plant, let's say the snap peas I am growing that I bought at Agway. I noticed that they grow towards the light source through the nearby window. Also I think roots work the same ...
0xFFF1's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
959 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?
J. Musser's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
82k views

How do plant cell divide without centrioles?

Most plants do not have centrioles, so what organelle enables them to multiply?
biogirl's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
J. Musser's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

How is photosynthesis observed?

How is photosynthesis observed? Say I have plants A and B, and I want to find how fast they are able to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. How would I experiment this? Say I have one plant A, which ...
user8620's user avatar
  • 181
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

What does "chlorophyll photosynthesis peak" mean in relation to photon wavelength?

When reading about how green / leafy plants work, I saw that they have chlorophyll A & B, which allow the plant to use the energy from light by capturing and transforming. When reading about ...
Phil's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
338 views

Are plants actual oxygen factories?

Is the oxygen exhaled by plants during the day compensated by inhalation of carbon dioxide at night?
karthikeyan make green's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 3,863
-1 votes
2 answers
1k views

Potato Power. Self sustaining medium using a living potato plant possible?

The second picture are potatoes wired in parallel. I understand that the potato is the medium for a chemical reaction between the copper and zinc. That aside, would wire and in soil potato plant ...
Muze's user avatar
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43 votes
4 answers
25k views

Do plants produce any heat?

Many plants (e.g. roses, palms) can be protected from frost during the winter if shielded with an appropriate coat that can be bought in garden shops. Do plants produce any heat that can be kept ...
jabal's user avatar
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34 votes
1 answer
10k views

Why are many fruits sour?

Many fruits (like apples, berries, citrus fruits etc.) contain high levels of organic acids, especially malic acid and citric acid. Are there any evolutionary functions of those acids in ripe fruits? ...
Marta Cz-C's user avatar
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34 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can any animals photosynthesize?

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 ...
Steven Roose's user avatar
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33 votes
1 answer
12k views

How long will a vegetable live for after being harvested?

I understand this might depend on the types of vegetables, but is there an average or studied specifics? Does it die immediately? Is there a way to precisely diagnose death in plants? If so, what are ...
Hector's user avatar
  • 605
18 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 3,737
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

If plants "alternate generations" between sporophytes and gametophytes, why don't we say the same of humans?

I've been reading on Wikipedia about how plants alternate generations between a diploid sporophyte (usually the dominant part) and haploid gametophyte (in flowering plants, the pollen and ovule sacs). ...
Max's user avatar
  • 285
14 votes
5 answers
24k views

Is it possible to genetically modify a plant at home?

Would I be able to genetically modify a plant at home? What equipment will be necessary? I think it might be a fun change from the 'norm' of regular hybridisation, to try some inter-family gene ...
J. Musser's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
5k views

Could plants do photosynthesis at moonlight?

Related to this and this but not exactly same; could plants do photosynthesis at moonlight or more dim-intensity light?
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 3,016
9 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 3,863
9 votes
1 answer
11k views

How do lilies sense day and night and open and close their flowers?

We have lots of lily flowers inside our garden. Their flowers are open in day and closed in night. How do lilies sense day and night and open and close their flowers?
MySky's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
8k 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, ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 3,737
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

What happens when you take a deciduous tree and place it in a climate controlled greenhouse?

The greenhouse would have stable level of light, (matched with day/night wavelength brightness changes like outside the greenhouse), humidity and temperature. Do certain processes in the tree not ...
user2886057's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
12k views

Photosystem 1 and 2; P680/P700; Chlorophyll a/b

I am getting slightly confused about how the above relate to each other. My current understanding is that P680 and P700 refer to the primary pigment reaction centres in Photosystems 2 and 1 ...
Meep's user avatar
  • 2,949
7 votes
1 answer
529 views

Can you tell the sex of a white willow when it's not flowering?

Can you tell whether a salix alba tree will produce male flowers or female flowers by looking at it, touching it or generally using your unaided senses? If not, is there any way to do that without ...
ymar's user avatar
  • 680
7 votes
1 answer
158 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?
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 3,737
7 votes
4 answers
13k views

How many ATP molecules are formed?

What is the number of ATP molecules formed during the photosynthetic processes which consume 8 molecules of $\text{H}_2\text{O}$ due to noncyclic electron transport and subsequent photophosphorylation?...
JM97's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

The colour of aquatic plants found deep under oceans

I have read that many aquatic plants found in deep oceans are red in colour, however, I do not understand why. As red is the color which gets the least scattered it should be the only light available ...
Reader Manifold's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is it harder to sequence plant genomes than animal genomes?

Plants seem to be less complex organisms than animals, but despite that there are less plant genomes sequenced. Is that because plant genomes are more complex, for example in terms of regulatory ...
Stacked's user avatar
  • 219
6 votes
1 answer
386 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?
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 3,737
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

What determines the autumn leaf color?

It is autumn out there. Green, brown, red, yellow, and mixed-colored leaves drop from the trees to the ground. What determines the colors of the leaves? Wikipedia tells me Leaf senescence is the ...
poet's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

Sporophyte and gametophyte

My textbook says that in both groups of seedless plants (vascular plants, non-vascular plants) the gametophyte is a free-living plant, independent of the sporophyte. I don't understand this statement ...
user3034084's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
static's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How do roots obtain nutrition?

I have a city garden (see picture below) and yesterday I was nurturing it and I pulled up a small plant. I saw its root system and laid it in the sun to dry a bit and then scraped of the rest of the ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do flowers transpire?

I have googled this out but no where found a satisfactory answer. The definition of transpiration states that it is the evaporative loss of water from the aerial surfaces of the plant but I am really ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
470 views

Evolution of plants and chloroplasts?

I am considering the evolution of plants, specifically considering the chloroplast. I am getting slightly confused and cannot seem to find the information I need to build a coherent picture in my head....
Meep's user avatar
  • 2,949
3 votes
1 answer
887 views

What is the effect of temperature and carbon dioxide on the opening and closing of stomata?

I am teaching biology in an academy. The question which I had asked above had been raised by on of my students. I tried my level best to search out the answer to this question but I could not find the ...
shakeel Munir's user avatar