By Yiannis Manetas
Why is it that crops should not have to maneuver? How does a nonmotile organism have intercourse or shield itself? Why are a few crops almost immortal? what's the mechanism that permits vegetation to take advantage of a virtually inexhaustible extraterrestrial power resource? How do crops control the composition of our planet’s surroundings? Why have there no longer been mass extinctions between vegetation as there were between animals? How do vegetation speak with each other? in spite of everything, are crops clever organisms?
These are many of the questions the writer discusses to illustrate that vegetation are wrongly thought of to be basic organisms missing particular behaviour and intelligence. This publication gives you to be as friendly a shock as Alice’s adventure within the white rabbit’s warren, within which she encountered a global very varied from ours.
The writer explains the biology of vegetation following Einstein's maxim that every thing may be made so simple as attainable, yet now not simpler.
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Extra resources for Alice in the Land of Plants: Biology of Plants and Their Importance for Planet Earth
In summary, a plant always tends to develop large light-collecting surfaces above ground and correspondingly large water-collecting surfaces underground. This tendency means that a plant’s surface area is large in proportion to its volume, allowing it to collect its diffuse “food” successfully. On the contrary, animals, which receive their food in condensed and “packed” form, tend to have a lower area/volume ratio. Furthermore, because animals have to move to find their food, they need an aerodynamically (or hydrodynamically) streamlined body with a suitably positioned centre of gravity.
Might this be where the quantitative expression of complexity lies? It is reasonable to assume that organisms that appear more complex have a greater need for gene function regulation. Yet, this does not seem to be where the secret lies. Humans have around 2,000 genes that codify transcription factors, whereas the humble A. thaliana plant has around 1,500. Nevertheless, it is known that protein products of genes are edited later so that a gene ultimately produces many more than just one protein.
Here lies Chapter 2 Basic Plant Organisation: How it Differs from that of Animals probably the ultimate major difference between animals and plants – the so-called meristematic cells located in the meristem of plants. These cells are undifferentiated, that is, no developmental processes have been initiated within them to produce their ultimate shape and size or function. In other words, meristematic cells are nonspecialized, in contrast to the rest, which are specialized. Examples of specialized cells are the epidermal cells protecting the body of the plant; the photosynthetic green cells within leaves; the root hairs, that is, the cells of the root epidermis, which are specialised in absorbing water and minerals; the vessel-forming cells (tubes) for transporting substances within the plant body; the colourful petal cells in flowers; the juicy cells of fruit; and so on.
Alice in the Land of Plants: Biology of Plants and Their Importance for Planet Earth by Yiannis Manetas