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Abstract Detail

The Power of Movement in Plants

Silk, Wendy K. [1].

Perpetual motion in a changing environment.

Plants are sessile organisms that cope with environmental variation by growing, bending, twisting, and ejecting body parts. To understand the power of movement in plants we need to be able to take several different points of view. Sitting on the apex we can look back at the developmental pattern that exists along the plant root or shoot axis. This perspective allows us to determine the stages that are competent to move in response to environmental stimuli. It is essential to understand the physiology of tropisms. Also, from the plant apex we can look out to see a microenvironment created by the interaction between the root or shoot and the surrounding soil, water or atmosphere. A second perspective is evident when we hop off the apex onto a stationary soil or air particle, see the parade of developing plant cells, and experience the exchange of material with the developing cells. This point of view is needed to understand how the moving plant affects its environment. A third perspective is that of a particle attached to the plant tip. With time the particle accelerates to a constant velocity of displacement from the plant apex and simultaneously decelerates to a fixed position relative to the environment. This perspective allows us to understand temporal-spatial relationships inherent in plant form. Keeping in mind these different perspectives will help integrate the talks in this symposium on the power of movement in plants. Botanists today, like Charles Darwin in the 1800ís, study plant movement as a fundamentally important function. Our symposium talks will address movement on size scales ranging from organelles to communities and will describe discoveries made with molecular and digital technologies not available in Darwinís day.

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1 - University of California at Davis, Land, Air, and Water Resources, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA, 95616-8627, USA

Plant Growth
reference frame
plant-environment interaction.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY1
Location: Ballroom 2/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: SY1001
Abstract ID:1053