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Fungus network 'plays role in plant communication'

Fungus network 'plays role in plant communication'
10 May 2013Last updated at 03:10 ET Mycorrhizae are mutualistic - they both need and are needed by the plants whose roots they inhabit Plants can communicate the onset of an attack from aphids by making use of an underground network of fungi, researchers have found. Instances of plant communication through the air have been documented, in which chemicals emitted by a damaged plant can be picked up by a neighbour. But below ground, most land plants are connected by fungi called mycorrhizae. The new study, published in Ecology Letters, demonstrates clearly that these fungi also aid in communication. It joins an established body of literature, recently reviewed in the Journal of Chemical Ecology and in Trends in Plant Science, which has suggested that the mycorrhizae can act as a kind of information network among plants. The team concerned themselves with aphids, tiny insects that feed on and damage plants. To prevent any through-the-air chemical communication, the plants were covered with bags. Related:  les arbres communiquentbeauty of evolution

Les plantes entendent-elles ? Ceux qui, comme moi, aiment Franquin, ont probablement le souvenir de cette planche savoureuse où Gaston Lagaffe, pensant que les plantes sont sensibles à la musique et désireux d’accroître le bien-être d’un pied de lierre, veut lui jouer un petit air. Mais aux premières notes affreuses émises par le tristement célèbre gaffophone, la plante tente de s’échapper par la fenêtre ouverte… Ce que dit le gag, c’est que le son de cet instrument générateur de catastrophes doit vraiment être horrible si « même un végétal » ne le supporte pas. Encore faut-il que les plantes ne soient pas sourdes comme leurs pots et qu’elles puissent percevoir les vibrations sonores. La notion de communication dans le monde végétal a longtemps été tenue pour marginale (voire inexistante) quand elle n’a pas été raillée. Dans une nouvelle étude publiée le 22 mai par PLoS ONE, une équipe italo-australienne a voulu explorer tous les modes de communication possibles entre deux plantes, le piment et le fenouil.

Plants 'do maths' to control overnight food supplies Plants have a built-in capacity to do maths, which helps them regulate food reserves at night, research suggests. UK scientists say they were "amazed" to find an example of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation in biology. Mathematical models show that the amount of starch consumed overnight is calculated by division in a process involving leaf chemicals, a John Innes Centre team reports in e-Life journal. Birds may use similar methods to preserve fat levels during migration. The scientists studied the plant Arabidopsis, which is regarded as a model plant for experiments. 'Astonished' Overnight, when the plant cannot use energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into sugars and starch, it must regulate its starch reserves to ensure they last until dawn. Experiments by scientists at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, show that to adjust its starch consumption so precisely, the plant must be performing a mathematical calculation - arithmetic division. 'Sophisticated'

Move over elephants: Mimosas have memories too Not long after publishing a paper in a prestigious journal about plants being able to 'talk' using sound, Monica Gagliano is back with her new findings showing that they can 'learn'. While this may sound stranger than fiction, Dr Gagliano, an Australian Research Council research fellow at The University of Western Australia's Centre for Evolutionary Biology, has solid evidence to support her theories, the latest of which is published in Oecologia. Her work is becoming famous, with a recent mention by Michael Pollan in the New Yorker. Her new article - written with Associate Professor Michael Renton and Dr Martial Depczynski from UWA's School of Plant Biology and Oceans Institute respectively, and Professor Stefano Mancuso at the University of Florence in Italy - is titled "Experience teaches plants to learn faster and forget slower in environments where it matters". Explore further: Get touchy feely with plants

La relation Homme-Plante - Denis Guichard-Un nouveau regard sur le Vivant Ces deux rencontres ont été organisées respectivement par PEUV (Pour l’Emergence d’une Université du Vivant) et le Mouvement de l’agriculture biodynamique. Extraits du livre : les interventions de Véronique Chable, chercheuse à l’INRA, et Pédro Ferrandiz, de la société Genodics Créer ensemble semences, culture et agriculture paysannes au XXIe siècle Véronique Chable est chercheuse à l’INRA et amoureuse de la Nature. Dans un de ses articles, Howard montre l’incompatibilité entre l’évolution actuelle des multinationales de la semence et l’émergence d’une agriculture dite "durable". Howard conclut que la solution la plus efficace, c’est l’action des paysans et des non paysans pour une réappropriation des semences et d’une agriculture qu’il a appelée "renouvelable". Pour résumer, notre contexte est avant tout une initiative basée sur un projet de société et non sur des connaissances communes produisant des innovations. (...) La génodique, une nouvelle approche du vivant Commandez ce livre

Ancient horse bone yields oldest DNA sequence 26 June 2013Last updated at 13:46 ET By Jonathan Ball BBC News The study massively extends the time period for which DNA can be used to reveal ancient biological secrets A fragment of a fossilised bone thought to be more than 700,000 years old has yielded the genome of an ancient relative of modern-day horses. This predates all previous ancient DNA sequences by more than 500,000 years. The study in the journal Nature was made possible because the bone was found preserved in Canadian permafrost following the animal's demise. The study also suggested that the ancestor of all equines existed around four million years ago. A remnant of the long bone of an ancient horse was recovered from the Thistle Creek site, located in the west-central Yukon Territory of Canada. Palaeontologists estimated that the horse had last roamed the region sometime between a half to three-quarters of a million years ago. DNA puzzle Continue reading the main story “Start Quote End QuoteKeith Dobney University of Aberdeen

Sci-Tech / Science : Hedge your bet, plants “talk” The Hindu A cabbage plantation at a village in A.P.'s Visakhapatnam district. According to scientists at Britain's Exeter University, a cabbage was “heard” warning its neighbours of trouble ahead after it had a leaf snipped with scissors. Prince Charles has long been mocked for claiming that plants could talk but now he can afford to have the last laugh as researchers say that it is indeed true. According to scientists at Britain's Exeter University, a cabbage was “heard'' warning its neighbours of trouble ahead after it had a leaf snipped with scissors. “By adding the protein luciferase — which makes fireflies glow in the dark — to the DNA the plants' emissions could be monitored on camera. The footage will be the highlight of a forthcoming BBC series on plants by Iain Stewart, professor of Geoscience Communication who saw the experiment at Exeter University.

Les arbres sentent-ils et communiquent-ils ? Avertissement : l’article qui suit ne procède nullement d’une vision spiritualiste, idéaliste ni mystique de la nature ou de l’arbre. Il n’est nullement question d’attribuer un esprit aux arbres ou de les transformer en modes d’expression d’un quelconque "esprit supérieur"... Pas question ici d’"esprit" de l’arbre, d’"aura" de l’arbre, de volonté de l’arbre, d’âme de l’arbre, etc. Il n’est nullement besoin d’attribuer des propriétés humaines à l’arbre pour le concevoir comme un sujet et pas seulement comme un objet, pour reconnaître qu’il sent le monde extérieur, communique avec lui, pour reconnaître ses capacités collectives et individuelles. Donc pas de contresens : il n’y a aucun animisme dans ce texte, aucune recherche purement spirituelle. Cependant, sans l’ombre d’un animisme, d’un point de vue scientifique, la question se pose : Comment les arbres sentent-ils et communiquent-ils ? Il faut connaitre le langage des VOC ! "Arbres" – de Jacques Prévert Non ! Dur à avaler ! Et pourtant…

Mouse cloned from drop of blood 27 June 2013Last updated at 02:02 GMT By Helen Briggs BBC News The mouse was cloned from a blood cell Scientists in Japan have cloned a mouse from a single drop of blood. Circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse were used to produce the clone, a team at the Riken BioResource Center reports in the journal Biology of Reproduction. The female mouse lived a normal lifespan and could give birth to young, say the researchers. Scientists at a linked institute recently created nearly 600 exact genetic copies of one mouse. Mice have been cloned from several different sources of donor cells, including white blood cells found in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and liver. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote This technique would be applicable for generating genetic copies of invaluable strains of mice” End QuoteResearch teamRiken BioResource Center, Tsukuba The Japanese research group investigated whether circulating blood cells could also be used for cloning. 'Invaluable strains'

Medicinal Plants Hortus Medicus The Medicinal Plants Disclaimer: This page presents a description and history of the medicinal uses of these plants. The intention is not to provide specific medical advice. You should consult your personal physician before taking any form of medication. Achillea millefolium, Yarrow Achilleus, the greatest hero of the Trojan War in Homer’s “Iliad”, is reported to have used yarrow to stop the flow of blood from his wounds inflicted in battle. Alcea rosea, Hollyhock The flowers are used in the treatment of repiratory and inflammatory ailments and the root extracts to produce marshmallow sweets. Alchemilla vulgaris, Lady’s Mantle The common English name is accounted for by the leaves resemblance to a cloak worn by English women in medieval times. Allium cepa, Onion Like garlic, onions contain antibiotics and substances that lower blood sugar, serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Althea officinalis, True Marshmallow It is a native of Asia that has been naturalized in America.

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