hmm, that is interesting! We have an outside chance of rain Monday. Sure
hope we get some, it's like a dust bowl here.
On 10/3/08, james singer <email@example.com> wrote:
> Rain off and on all day today. Big mushroom came up in the front yard.
> I had hopes it was a meadow mushroom, so I went out and picked it. It
> wasn't, sad to say--but the time of year is right for them, so I'll
> have to keep looking.
> Rain's supposed to continue all through tomorrow before tapering off,
> then start up again Monday. I don't know what all this moisture will
> mean to the vegetable patch, but it will be great for most everything
> OSU posted this item earlier this week. I found it interesting.
> CORVALLIS, Ore. More than 125 years ago Charles Darwin first
> reported that most plants grow in a spurt during the night, not the
> day and this week, scientists are reporting the discovery of the
> genes that control this phenomenon.
> These rhythmic growth spurts, and the ability of plants to move in
> response to light, are actually controlled by genes involved in
> circadian rhythms the biological clock genes that are influenced
> by light and dark, vary their activity based on time of day, and are
> increasingly found in both plants and animals to control a wide
> variety of functions, ranging from growth to nervous system function
> and even fertility.
> This is an incremental but important step in understanding how
> plants grow, said Todd Mockler, an assistant professor of botany at
> Oregon State University, and co-author of the report with colleagues
> at the University of California at San Diego and the Salk Institute
> for Biological Studies.
> Ultimately, more understanding of these growth genetics could allow
> scientists to create plants that grow faster, produce more food or
> have other useful characteristics, the researchers said.
> The findings will be reported this week in PloS Biology, a
> professional journal. The research was funded by the National Science
> Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes
> Medical Institute.
> We now know that the expression of certain genes and hormones at
> night and just before dawn is important for plant growth, Mockler
> said. During the day, the plant focuses on other tasks, such as the
> photosynthesis that produces its energy. And plants are not only
> responding to time of day, but also the length of daylight to control
> such things as flowering time and stem length.
> When such mechanisms are more fully analyzed, it may be possible to
> influence them with genetic modification, Mockler said.
> This advance was made possible largely by the use of DNA microarrays
> and bioinformatics, most of which was done at OSU. This technology
> allows powerful computers to be combined with more conventional
> biological research to examine thousands of genes in an organism, in a
> very short period of time, and determine which ones are active and
> what their role is.
> Researchers now believe that almost all plant genes are expressed
> only at a particular time of day, depending on the growth condition.
> And they use growth and movement to maximize their chance of survival
> in a competitive environment a plant leaf, for instance, will
> literally move if it becomes shaded by another plant.
> In 1880, in one of his lesser-known works that was not focused on
> animal evolution, Darwin first described this phenomenon. He found
> that rather than growing at a steady rate, plants often grow in
> regular nightly spurts.
> The findings in this study were made with the plant Arabidopsis, a
> small plant in the mustard family that is often used as a model for
> genetic research. A glowing enzyme, luciferase, was attached to the
> genes that were identified as responsible for rhythmic growth. And it
> would glow, on and off, as the genes began functioning to create the
> hormones responsible for growth in the dark of night.
> The research program also learned that most of the genes involved in
> this process have a common DNA sequence, which they called the HUD
> element for hormone up at dawn.
> Further studies are needed to identify a protein that attaches to this
> HUD element and regulates its function. Identifying that regulator,
> the scientists said, could open the door to ways to control plant
> growth and yield.
> Island Jim
> Willamette Valley
> 44.99 N 123.04 W
> Elevation 148'
> 39.9" Precipitation
> Hardiness Zone 8/9
> Heat Zone 5
> Sunset Zone 6
> Minimum 0 F [-15 C]
> Maximum 102 F [39 C]
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- From: james singer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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