- Commercial Manager Spain
- Crop Farm Manager Sharjah
- Commercial Manager Soft Fruits
- Assistant Nursery Manager - Tasmania, Australia
- Tissue Culture Lab / Operations Manager - Victoria, Australia
- Irrigation Manager - Tasmania or Victoria
- Chief Executive Officer Hortifrut IG Berries
- Head of Operations - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Greenhouse grower / production manager - Brazil
- Experienced International Trade Specialist
Top 5 -yesterday
- "Australian native flowers provide a true seasonality and florists love this variety, variability in supply”
- "Stunning genetics under the tropical sun in Singapore"
- Greenhouse plastic boom blights Vietnam’s vegetable and flower basket
- Designed glasshouse unfolds like a flower in just four minutes
- Plantipp and Concept Plants scoop prizes
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
Eye-plant coordination determined by the eye
“With the dramatic growth of the world’s population, we will have to work hard to make agriculture more efficient”, explains research leader Prof. Ronald Pierik from Utrecht University. “We therefore want to know how we can help plants achieve maximum growth at high densities; conditions under which plants compete with one another for light. Thanks to the combination of our molecular plant research and the simulation models at Wageningen, we can predict what will work, and what won’t.”
Fundamental knowledge lacking
When the researchers wanted to expand their simulation model with the effects of shade, they discovered that they lacked fundamental knowledge about how plants observe light. Scientists knew that plants react to shade by observing the ratio of ‘red’ light to far-red light. Red light is essential for photosynthesis, but more far-red light means that the plant is in the shade. “What we didn’t know, however, was where the plant observes and processes the light colours, exactly”, according to Pierik. “Our research shows that the plant observes the colours everywhere, but that the reaction can differ significantly.”
The ‘eye’ has it
More far-red light at the tip of the leaf makes the leaf move up, while at the petiole it results in faster elongation growth for the petiole itself. Both reactions are also possible: the petiole can grow a bit, while the leaf moves a bit upwards. This means that the ‘eye’ determines how the plant reacts, which in turn leads to new questions. Why are there different reactions depending on where the change in colour is observed? And how does a plant ensure that the change in colour provokes a reaction elsewhere in the plant?
In order to explain the differences in the reactions, the researchers developed a model that they can test using simulations or real plants. The far-red alarm signal in the petiole appeared to cause unnecessary leaf movement at low plant densities, which result in the leaf capturing less light, while at high densities the reaction came too late to avoid the shade. Far-red information at the leaf tip, on the other hand, appeared to predict the vicinity of nearby plants at all plant densities. This means that the leaf tip is the optimal location for the ‘eye-leaf coordination’ if the leaf needs to move elsewhere.
Crucial role for auxin
Next, the researchers asked how the observation of colour changes leads to the leaf moving upwards or to the growth of the petiole. Their research confirms the suspicion that the hormone auxin plays a crucial role in this process. For example, excess far-red light on the tip of the leaf leads to higher production of the hormone in the leaf tip. The auxin then travels through the plant to initiate the necessary reactions.
As effective as possible
“PhD Candidate Franca Bongers processed all of these insights into her simulation models. That showed that this is indeed the best way for plants to react as effectively as possible to neighbouring plants at high plant densities”, according to Pierik. Bongers will defend her dissertation on Tuesday, 4 July in Wageningen.
This research was funded in part by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): Open Competition Grant to prof. Niels Anten (Wageningen University), Graduate School Horticulture and Starting Materials Grant to Prof. Ronald Pierik & Jesse Küpers MSc and VIDI Grant to prof. Ronald Pierik (both Utrecht University).
Source: Wageningen University & Research
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2022-06-29 Two Utah farms produce kitchen staples with less water
- 2022-06-28 Effects of antibiotics on waterhyacint's performance and physiology
- 2022-06-24 New setup of Novelty Contest at Plantarium|Groen-Direkt
- 2022-06-20 Perham High School greenhouse is back on-site and in full bloom
- 2022-06-14 Greenhouse sensors for improved climate control
- 2022-06-13 New insect netting system expands ventilation capacity
- 2022-06-13 "Growers can save up to 45% in energy compared with previous models"
- 2022-06-10 Improving the growing with LED
- 2022-06-08 Identification of new stock Matthiola incana
- 2022-06-08 Floriculture helps Indian farms increase income
- 2022-06-08 Grow tent kits with LED lighting help us grow flowers and food at home
- 2022-06-06 India: Retired banker has 1,000 plants of 400 varieties in his house
- 2022-06-03 Development and characterization of 20 genomic SSR markers of Weigela
- 2022-06-03 Automated drones could scare birds off fields
- 2022-06-02 "We have a clear mission: lighting the way to a better tomorrow"
- 2022-06-02 Longtime Long Island orchid grower receives coveted conditional cannabis license
- 2022-06-02 Analysis on the biological basis of stamen abortion during the second flowering of Magnolia × soulangeana ‘Changchun’
- 2022-06-01 The biochemical base of flower color in Bidens ferulifolia
- 2022-06-01 India: protected cultivation of Lilium cut flower in the non traditional regions
- 2022-06-01 India: Chakkittappara farmers to take up medicinal plant cultivation on about 608,000 sq meters