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Adjusting Antennas

Natural light is a challenge for plants. It’s far from constant and it changes not only in intensity but also in quality, shifting between blue-ish and red-ish hues, depending on the time of the day. Here’s a tale of how plants rise to the challenge of change, by fine-tuning their light collectors in response to the light. … Read more

Room for biodiversity

Heading into the future, we have to solve some extremely complex problems. Take agriculture for example: we want to feed an ever increasing population, protect the local environment, reduce carbon emissions and have a sustainable long-term production pipeline.

Today, we’re looking at one of these problems and discussing potential solutions.… Read more

Raindrops keep falling on my leaf 😢

The outside world can be harsh – and I’m not only saying that because I am sitting at home with a cold, looking at the dull grey sky through the window. Too much of any of the elements- wind, rain, cold, heat- can cause us all stress. And they can stress plants, too. Today we’re talking about how plants feel when raindrops keep falling on their leaves…

drip

drip

drip… Read more

Fun-sized ‘plants’

Small things are fun. That’s why they call tiny chocolate bars fun-sized. So we thought we’d look into the plant biology version of those shrunken-down candy bars: the fun-sized class of Mamiellophyceae.… Read more

Gotta grow fast!

In 1884, during the Cotton State Exhibition in the United States, well-meaning presenters handed out small plants to visitors. Those visitors brought the gifts to their backyards where they excitedly planted the aquatic planted in small streams and ponds. Just 16 years later, the plant had become a serious pest in many bodies of water in several federal states. … Read more

The forgotten organelle

Think of a plant organelle. You probably picked the chloroplast, the guy that’s specific to plants. Or maybe the giant vacuole. If you‘re weird, you picked the tiny mitochondria*. Chances are, however, that you forgot about one organelle – the peroxisome.

*We’re both chloroplast people, thus the mito shade.… Read more

Drawing Plants and Pipettes

I’m not an artist. I’m a fairly conventionally trained molecular biologist and I spent way more time assembling acrylamide gels than on the drawing board. Still, I draw most of the images here on the site. Today, I’ll show you how.… Read more

Global climate strike 2019

You might have noticed it on the news, or maybe you even joined – this year there was a Global Climate Strike on September 20th. We joined our local demonstration in Berlin… Read more

A house that plants built

Insects, viruses, bacteria and others can hijack plant genes to turn leaves into highly specialised organs that have one main function: to serve as a home for the invader. … Read more