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Jul 5, 2021

Scientists discover plant ‘brain’ controlling seed development

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Circa 2017


A new study by scientists at the University of Birmingham has revealed a group of cells that function as a ‘brain’ for plant embryos, capable of assessing environmental conditions and dictating when seeds will germinate.

A plant’s decision about when to germinate is one of the most important it will make during its life. Too soon, and the plant may be damaged by harsh winter conditions; too late, and it may be out-competed by other, more precocious plants.

In a study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists from the University of Birmingham have shown that this trade-off between speed and accuracy is controlled by a small group of within the that operate in similar way to the human brain.

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