Field of Science

Brand spanking new botanical research articles

TPP is catching up, or trying to, on lots of things. Here's a link to some research summaries for the latest issue of the American Journal of Botany. The very first article is pretty interesting because fruits almost universally turn from green to a "fruity" color to signify ripeness advertising to seed disperses that a reward is available (often, but not always). But this particular tropical plant has reddish immature fruits and green mature fruits, a situation rather like the leaves of some tropical plants that flush red and then turn green, however a protective function for the red pigmentation could not be supported! So there you go! You can be pretty sure that one of the authors knew about fruit color changes and dispersal, and then noticed that this plant was not playing according to the "rules" so curiosity made them ask why and they devised a research project to test the various ideas involved. Thousands of such questions and studies exist if you just learn how to observe.  
Other studies involved microlichens, fern gametophytes (haploid ferns), genetics of cellulose systhesis, and the origin of C4 photosynthesis. Pretty diverse stuff, but that is the nature of botany and this journal in particular. 

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