Category Archives: Plant biology

Plants emit a great amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are mainly produced in flowers and fruits and confer them their classical pleasant smell. However, leaves and roots also emit an important quantity of volatiles.
VOCs have different functions […]

I am sure that all of you have had table conversations about the flavour of tomato fruits: “These tomatoes have no taste” complained the little boy; “When I was a child tomatoes were much better, now they are tasteless” said […]

Every organism, from virus to animals need nitrogen (N) to live; indeed, nucleic acids and proteins are made out with N. Nearly all of these organisms, fulfill their nitrogen needs taken up N from the environment in reduced forms, usually […]

When autumn arrives to temperate climate forests, deciduous trees lose their characteristic green tonalities and start showing a wide spectrum of new colours: yellow, brown, orange, red… Chlorophyll reabsorption takes place in the leaves and carotenoids, present in a lower […]

Who can better understand the importance of chemical communication between plants than an agriculturalist?
My father was a School Teacher and is now retired and working full time on his hobby, agriculture, and for this reason, I decided to interview […]

Cuscuta (dodder) is a genus of about 200 species of obligate parasitic plants. They use airborne volatile organic compound cues to locate their host plants and then, they produce feeding structures named haustoria that penetrate into the vascular system […]

In the first entry of this series I introduced the new research field of ‘plant neurobiology’, one of whose main sites is the Murcia University ‘Minimal Intelligence Lab’ under the direction of cognitive scientist and philosopher Paco Calvo. In […]

It is said of philosophers that they are ever less willing to recognise a mistake than the ordinary intellect… sorry, man on the street. Actually, an old joke tells about a university rector saying to other that his favourite department […]

We perceive the world surrounding us through our senses. Thanks to them we can have a pleasant time listening to Claude Debussy or get delighted by the scent of rosemary. We blindly trust them, but are they always truthful? A […]

The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert covering about one quarter of the African continent. The sun is constantly up and makes some spots in the Sahara the hottest and driest on Earth, with average highest temperatures above 38 […]