A Special issue of the Annals of Botany on Developmental Plant Cell Biology, in honour of Peter Barlow
Growing roots locate a water source by sensing the vibrations generated by water moving inside pipes, even in the absence of substrate moisture. When both moisture and acoustic cues were available, roots preferentially used moisture in the soil over acoustic vibrations, suggesting that acoustic gradients enable roots to broadly detect a water source at a distance, while moisture gradients help them to reach their target more accurately.
Plants ‘see’ underground by channelling shoot-piped light to their root apices- These findings demonstrate that the underground roots directly sense stem-piped light to monitor the aboveground light environment during plant environmental adaptation. Piped shoot light influences gene expression in the roots by activating root phytochrome B. Stem-piped light also affects root gravitropism.
Deceptive Plants are Folling Insects – Ceropegia Plants Mimic Attacked Honeybees to Attract Kleptoparasitic Flies for Pollination
Ceropegia sandersonii plant controls female flies of the genus Desmometopa. Ceropegia plants mimics attacked honeybees to attract kleptoparasitic flies for their pollination. This study describes a new example of how plants fool and manipulate insects for their own benefits. This is new case of chemical mimicry whereby Ceropegia plants controls carnivorous Desmometopa flies.
The paper, Plant Behavior by D. Liu, is in a special issue of CBE Life Sciences Education from Fall 2014 on Plant Biology. This is a great example of how biologists and educators are recognizing that plants teach important lessons in biological function!