Monday, August 8, 2011

Plants Kind to Relatives

Research shows that plants know if they're next to a relative and will grow to allow the relative more access to light.

Previous research showed that plants can recognize relative's root systems from the same mother plant and will give them a fairer share of nutrients. The new study found when impatiens plants shared a pot with seeds from the same parent plant, they grew taller with more branches and fewer leaves. When planted with other non-sibling impatiens, they grew more and larger leaves that crowded out non-relatives. Roots alert plants to the relationship of nearby plants because when impatiens were planted near siblings but in separate pots, they didn’t recognize their relatives.

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