Category archives: Plant biology

Carotenoids, I see your true colours

Carotenoids, I see your true colours

BiochemistryChemistryPlant biology

By Estíbaliz Urarte

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 concentration, are exposed. These pigments are produced in all photosynthetic organisms, fungi and non-photosynthetic bacteria […]

Parasite plant check

Parasite plant check

Plant biology

By José Ramón Alonso

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 of the host plants and suck their sap exploiting their carbohydrates, nutrients, and water. They also […]

The not so secret life of plants (2): Vegetal perception

The not so secret life of plants (2): Vegetal perception

NeurobiologyPhilosophy of sciencePlant biology

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

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 that entry, I offered a brief sketch of the topics covered by the field, topics that […]

The not so secret life of plants (1): The emergence of plant neurobiology

The not so secret life of plants (1): The emergence of plant neurobiology

NeurobiologyPhilosophy of sciencePlant biology

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

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 is that of mathematics, for mathematicians only ask for paper, pencils and paper bins; “oh […]

Genetic engineering of insect-free plants

Genetic engineering of insect-free plants

BiotechnologyGeneticsPlant biology

By Daniel Marino

Plants are sessile organisms, which means they can´t move around. Of course, they have some types of movements like turning towards the sun but the place where the seed germinates the plant will stay during their entire life cycle. Obviously, this fact has important consequences on how plants respond upon variations of their surrounding environment […]