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:1/21/2017)... , Jan 20, 2017 Research and Markets ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global voice recognition biometrics market ... The report covers the present scenario and the ... To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 Sensory Inc ., ... security for consumer electronics, and i ... and cybersecurity solutions, today announced a global partnership ... institutions worldwide to bolster security of data sensitive ... user authentication platforms they offer, innerCore now offers ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Minn. , Jan. 18, 2017 ... technology company that supports the entire spectrum of ... has been another record-breaking year for the organization ... market interest in MedNet,s eClinical products and services. ... the tremendous marketplace success of iMedNet ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park Systems , a leader ... for all SPIE attendees and Park customers on Feb. 27, 2017 ... the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature a talk on Automated ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 Scientists propose in ... organ damage in Gaucher and maybe other lysosomal storage ... lower costs than current therapies. An international ... Center , which also included investigators from the University ... their data Feb. 22. The study was conducted in ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ProMIS ... precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it has issued a scientific white ... is one of a series of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific team offering insight ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual events ... the launch of a new scholarship for young scientists seeking a degree in any ... open to all high school seniors, 17 years or older; as well as those ...
Breaking Biology Technology: