Navigation Links
Behavior breakthrough: Like animals, plants demonstrate complex ability to integrate information
Date:6/24/2010

A University of Alberta research team has discovered that a plant's strategy to capture nutrients in the soil is the result of integration of different types of information.

U of A ecologist J.C. Cahill says the plant's strategy mirrors the daily risk-versus-reward dilemmas that animals experience in their quest for food.

Biologists established long ago that an animal uses information about both the location of a food supply and potential competitors to determine an optimal foraging strategy. Its subsequent behavioral response is based on whether the food supply is rich enough to accept the risks associated with engaging in competition with other animals.

Cahill found plants also have the ability to integrate information about the location of both food and competitors. As a result, plants demonstrate unique behavioural strategies to capture soil resources.

Previous studies show plants alter the growth of their roots in relation to the placement of food or a competing plant. Cahill and his colleagues now show an integration of both location and competition information in plants. "This ability to integrate information is a level of complexity never seen in plants before," said Cahill. "This is something we assumed only happened with animals."

Using a mini-rhizotron camera, referred to by Cahill's team as a "camera on a stick," the researchers compared the root movement of potted plants in relation to various positions of nutrients and competing plants.

The roots of one plant in a pot where nutrients were evenly distributed occupied the entire breadth of the soil.

When two plants occupied a single pot and the nutrients were evenly distributed, the roots stopped growing laterally towards each other. There was complete segregation of the root systems; the plants avoided contact with one another. Cahill says in terms of risk versus reward, the plants avoided each other because the rewards were low.

But when nutrients were placed between two plants sharing a single pot, both plants grew their roots much closer towards each other. Cahill says in this case the rewards were high, and the plants risked increased competition.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Murphy
brian.murphy@ualberta.ca
780-492-6041
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Unusual rhino beetle behavior discovered
2. Popular autism diet does not demonstrate behavioral improvement
3. Virginia Tech researcher explores role of human behavior in infectious disease emergence
4. Weill Cornell researchers find that a single gene is responsible for OCD-like behaviors in mice
5. UI researchers analyze implications of intelligent design for human behavior
6. Caltech and UCSD scientists establish leech as model for study of reproductive behavior
7. Human cells exhibit foraging behavior like amoebae and bacteria
8. Behavior of single protein observed in unprecedented detail by Stanford chemists
9. Researchers correct the record about behavior of important human protein tied to cancer
10. Animal behavioral studies can mimic human behavior
11. Exposure to young triggers new neuron creation in females exhibiting maternal behavior
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/20/2016)... LONDON , Dec. 20, 2016 ... car sharing, rental and leasing is stoking significant ... of radio frequency technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), ... emerge as the next wave of wireless technologies ... vehicle access system to advanced access systems opens ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... , Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions ... Identity management products and solutions and a cutting-edge ... today that it is offering seamless, integrated solutions ... security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers ... secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December 15, ... global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with NuData ... biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients to ... in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to provide ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- http://www.Financialbuzz.com - According to ... of death worldwide. There were 8.2 million cancer related ... deaths increased gradually over time, the death rates have ... cancers continues to drive demand of biological therapies for ... Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy market size was USD 61.3 ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Cancer ... Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022" report to their offering. ... Cancer Biomarkers ... $15,737 million by 2022 from $6,521 in 2015, growing at a ... technologies segment accounted for more than half of the revenue share ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... HOUSTON , Jan. 19, 2017 ... announced the formation of its Medical/Clinical Advisory Board. ... industry veterans who enhance the range and depth ... development of its novel prenatal diagnostic tests.  These ... and strategic guidance for the company,s product development ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research and Markets ... the addition of the "Implantable Biomaterials Market Analysis ... report to their offering. Report Highlights: ... on current and future market trends to identify the investment opportunities ... base numbers Key market trends across the business segments, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: