Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
8.0K views | +3 today
Follow
Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Applied Botany
Curated by Meristemi
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Meristemi from Articles mentioning John Innes Centre
Scoop.it!

Plant intelligence for better swarm robots

Plant intelligence for better swarm robots | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

John Innes Centre scientists will participate in new €2 million EU-funded research to programme more "intelligent" and adaptable robot swarms.The collaborative research will also be useful for improving other complex systems that can be challenged by their environment, such as smart phone networks.

 

"Plants achieve exquisite organisation and spatially-controlled division of labour," said Dr Veronica Grieneisen from the John Innes Centre."They form complex patterns and deal with conflict or damage by acting locally but for the benefit of the whole."


Via Nicola Brown
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Meristemi from Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology
Scoop.it!

Faster than their prey: New insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps - BioEssays

Faster than their prey: New insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps - BioEssays | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Plants move in very different ways and for different reasons, but some active carnivorous plants perform extraordinary motion: Their snap-, catapult- and suction traps perform very fast and spectacular motions to catch their prey after receiving mechanical stimuli. Numerous investigations have led to deeper insights into the physiology and biomechanics of these trapping devices, but they are far from being fully understood. We review concisely how plant movements are classified and how they follow principles that bring together speed, actuation and architecture of the moving organ. In particular, we describe and discuss how carnivorous plants manage to execute fast motion. We address open questions and assess the prospects for future studies investigating potential universal mechanisms that could be the basis of key characteristic features in plant movement such as stimulus transduction, post-stimulatory mechanical answers, and organ formation.


Via Jennifer Mach
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Leaf-like material 'traps bedbugs'

Leaf-like material 'traps bedbugs' | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

A material designed to mimic the hooked hairs found on the underside of leaves could help trap and control bedbugs, the Journal of the Royal Society Interface reports. The researchers were inspired by an age-old remedy formerly used in Bulgaria and Serbia where kidney-bean leaves were strewn on the floor next to beds to trap the bugs. The greenery was burned the next day. Bedbugs have no evolutionary link with bean plants - although the general idea that plants have developed to trap insects like aphids and spider mites is known.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Turning pine sap into 'ever-green' plastics

Turning pine sap into 'ever-green' plastics | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Rather than tapping a barrel of oil to obtain starting materials, Tang's research group instead begins with the natural resins found in trees, especially evergreens. The rosin and turpentine derived from their wood is rich in hydrocarbons, similar but not identical to some components of petroleum

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Pest uses plant hairs for protection

Pest uses plant hairs for protection | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Guam cycads' hairy problem allows invasive insect to flourish.Everyone needs to eat. But it's a dog-eat-dog world, and with the exception of the top predators, everyone also gets eaten. To cope with this vicious reality, a tiny insect that eats plants has learned to employ the plant's hairs for physical protection from its beetle predator.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Meristemi from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Scoop.it!

Plant Cell Environ: Salt Glands in mangrove

Plant Cell Environ: Salt Glands in mangrove | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Salt glands are fascinating anatomically and physiologically. If you've never read the great SCHMIDT-NIELSEN's work, here's a link to an OA paper on "The salt-secreting glands of marine birds", from 1960. (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/21/5/955.abstract).

 

Salt glands seem to be an example of convergent evolution. They've arisen repeatedly to deal with the problem salt elimination without too much water loss. They are a terrific tool to help students learn about the movement of ions across membranes. 

 

Here are a few review articles with more information about salt glands and other halophyte adaptations:

Flowers and Colmer, New Phytol 2008 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02531.x/full)

Munns and Tester, Annu Rev Plant Biol 2008 (http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.arplant.59.032607.092911?journalCode=arplant)

Flowers et al, Functional Plant Biol. 2010 (http://www.tempoandmode.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/flowersevolutionhalophytesfuncplbiol10.pdf)and from

Plants in Action (http://plantsinaction.science.uq.edu.au/edition1/?q=content/17-3-1-devices-manage-leaf-salt).


Via Mary Williams
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Why cheese plants are full of holes

Why cheese plants are full of holes | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Mr Muir's models revealed that a leaf with the same surface area, but riddled with holes, would contact sunlight more regularly because it takes up more space.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Meristemi from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Scoop.it!

Buckling as an origin of ordered cuticular patterns in flower petals

Buckling as an origin of ordered cuticular patterns in flower petals | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Beverly Glover's group is involved in some of the most interesting, interdisciplinary work, and here's another. Her work examines the developmental and genetic foundations for flower characteristics and how they interact with pollinators - it's appealing and the questions are accessible to undergraduates.

 

"The optical properties of plant surfaces are strongly determined by the shape of epidermal cells and by the patterning of the cuticle on top of the cells. Combinations of particular cell shapes with particular nanoscale structures can generate a wide range of optical effects. Perhaps most notably, the development of ordered ridges of cuticle on top of flat petal cells can produce diffraction-grating-like structures."

 

Here's her publication list:

http://www.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/research/glover/publications.html


Via Mary Williams
Meristemi's insight:

Studi che riguardano anche ambiti insospettabili per la biologia vegetale: la realizzazione di vernici speciali.

more...
Mary Williams's comment, January 9, 2013 5:22 AM
As translated by google translate, Meristemi's comment is: Studies also cover unexpected areas for plant biology: the creation of special paints. True!
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

African fruit ‘brightest’ thing in nature but does not use pigment to create its extraordinary colour - Research - University of Cambridge

African fruit ‘brightest’ thing in nature but does not use pigment to create its extraordinary colour - Research - University of Cambridge | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

This obscure little plant has hit on a fantastic way of making an irresistible shiny, sparkly, multi-coloured, iridescent signal to every bird in the vicinity

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Meristemi from Ethnobotany: plants and people
Scoop.it!

BBC News - More light shed on orchids that deceive bees

BBC News - More light shed on orchids that deceive bees | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The secrets of orchids that trick male insects into pollinating them by mimicking females are revealed by scientists.

Via Eve Emshwiller
more...
Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, April 29, 2013 11:06 AM

Amusing footage of bee trying to copulate with an orchid flower.  Deception pollination.

Eve Emshwiller's comment, April 29, 2013 11:09 AM
oops, I meant to post this on my other topic, Botany teaching & cetera.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Bean Leaves Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite by Using Tiny, Impaling Spikes

Bean Leaves Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite by Using Tiny, Impaling Spikes | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Researchers hope to design a new bedbug eradication method based upon a folk remedy of trapping the bloodsuckers as they creep
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

New plants for a dimmer future?

New plants for a dimmer future? | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Well, this time I’m pleased to report new plant taxa from China that are very much extant – if rather startled by all the attention they are receiving and the glare of the media spotlight (or any light come to that…). The species concerned are three new members of the genus Pilea (the largest genus in the Urticaceae – the stinging nettle family), newly discovered in the karst limestone topography of south-west China.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Dandelion tires? It's not a Beatles lyric, it's biotech

Dandelion tires? It's not a Beatles lyric, it's biotech | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The dandelion's roots are smaller than ideal for commercial rubber production. So KeyGene is putting the plant through a process of plant phenotyping in order to develop a variety of dandelion with a fatter root and higher yield, that would be better suited for industrial processing.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Pomegranates and the art of herbivore attraction

Pomegranates and the art of herbivore attraction | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Jeanne walks you through the botany you need to know to understand pomegranate fruit structure.  Jeanne’s definition of “need to know” is arguably a bit broad and includes a brief tour of the many ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

They point out that using biological agents has come to the fore as an efficient and effective way to make novel types of silver nanoparticles with uniform size and shape and biocompatible surfaces for use in medicine. The team has now used an extract from Pseudotsuga menzietii together with silver nitrate solution to generate nanoparticles. These particles can then be readily dispersed in chitosan polymer to make a material that can coat metals and other materials. The plant extract acts as a natural chemical reducing agent to convert the silver ions in the nitrate solution to nanoscopic silver metal particles.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

How does your garden glow? - The University of Nottingham

How does your garden glow? - The University of Nottingham | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Nature's ability to create iridescent flowers has been recreated by mathematicians at The University of Nottingham. The team of researchers have collaborated with experimentalists at the University of Cambridge to create a mathematical model of a plant's petals to help us learn more about iridescence in flowering plants and the role it may play in attracting pollinators
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Meristemi from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

It’s not a leaf - it's a bug! Insect mimicry goes back to the Jurassic

It’s not a leaf - it's a bug! Insect mimicry goes back to the Jurassic | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
File this one under turning-lemons-into lemonade: instead of getting frustrated by the difficulty of keeping track of fossil specimens—or maybe in addition to getting frustrated—Yongjie Wang at the College of Life Sciences in Beijing parlayed the confusion into the identification of a new species. The confusion came because the extinct hangingfly looks almost exactly like an extinct ginkgo leaf. Researchers speculate that the bugs may have mimicked the leaves in order to escape predators, and may also have provided a protective function, preventing other bugs from eating real leaves nearby.

 

Wang is not the first fossil collector to get his leaf and wing specimens mixed up. Modern leaf-mimicking insects were described in the tropics in the late 1930s. Once it was determined that this was no mere coincidence—that the bugs had evolved to look like the leaves as a strategy to avoid predators—fossil hunters remembered the similarities they had seen in their specimens. They thought: if bugs are imitating leaves now, maybe they were also doing it back in the day.

 

The Jiulongshan Formation, a rock deposit in Northeastern China’s Inner Mongolia, is full of fossils dating from the late Middle Jurassic—roughly a hundred and seventy million years ago. Back then, there were many more types of both Mecoptera (the order of insects that includes hangingflies) and Ginkgoales than there are today.

 

Wang et al. found that when one hangingfly species extended its wings, one of these bugs, Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia, would look just like the multilobed leaf from a ginkgo tree that lived at the same time, Yimaia capituliformis. They report that these trees and others with similar leaves comprised 12.4 percent of the total number of plant species in the area, so they would provide great camouflage for the hangingflies.

 

J. ginkgofolia were big bugs, with weak legs and wings, which is perhaps why they developed this mimetic strategy to avoid detection. Y. capituliformis were extinct by the Cretaceous, a hundred and sixty-six million years ago, and J. ginkgofolia seems to have been gone by then as well. The hangingflies that survived to the present day never resembled ginkgo leaves as much as those that died out—with the ginkgos largely dying off, that may be why they are the ones still hanging around.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Meristemi
Scoop.it!

Too many live wires: There's something about ivy

Too many live wires: There's something about ivy | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

English ivy (species name Hedera Helix) makes its own glue-like substance out of natural nanoparticles. The roots of each plant produce millions of tiny, sticky spheres - each 100,000 times smaller than a holly berry. This remarkable feat helps the ivy to bend and twist around trees, chimneys and probably even parked-up sleighs given the chance

more...
No comment yet.