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:5/16/2017)...  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative ... verification solutions, announced today they will participate as a ... thru May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions ... evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert ... a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid ... software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the ... the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... As Vice President, Product ... including training, implementation, support, and client process and SOP development. , Mr. Guinter ... held leadership roles for service providers and top-tier pharmaceuticals, and as an independent ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 19, 2017 , ... A colony ... among its cells and tissues by delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for ... means to stay healthy. , Many recent indicators point to a decline in honey ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... CTNext , Connecticut’s go-to resource for ... at The LOFT at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. , Nine finalists, all of whom ... judges for an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards to help support business growth. The ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... The ... an artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a solo ... 22nd. An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market ...
Breaking Biology Technology: