Plants' reproductive weaponry unfurled | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


News

Plants' reproductive weaponry unfurled

Botanical tricks include adhesion and bubbles to spread their spores

By
4:56pm, March 5, 2012

BOSTON — Plants appear to live the ultimate sedentary lifestyle, but they’ve got mad aeronautical skills when it comes to their progeny. Two new studies — one investigating the catapult action of ferns, and another examining the “jumping spores” of a species of horsetail — reveal surprising botanical mechanical tricks for dispersing future offspring.

Consider Equisetum’s jumping spores. Known as horsetail or scouring rush, Equisetum bears spores that are decked out with four slender, arm-like projections called elaters. Botanists have long presumed that the elaters, which are curled around the spore and unfu

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Scicurious posts

From the Nature Index Paid Content