The flowers will go on mystifying us, answering to a clock that ticks so slowly we won’t live long enough to hear it.

– Barbara Kingsolver and Steven Hopp
“Called Out” in Small Wonder, 2002

Movement Within
Plants aren’t still, especially at the cellular level. Although contained within a rigid wall, a plant cell is in constant internal motion. Time-lapse microscopy reveals a fascinating choreography in cell growth, cell division, and the movements of cellular components, paced by rhythms we cannot hear or see without the aid of technology.

Light, temperature, moisture, hormones, and other cues prompt cellular motion. Much remains to be learned about these stimuli and how they translate into cellular actions. But we do know that plants use both chemical and electrical signals to control cell behavior.

Desmid Chloroplast Migration
Jeremy and Julie Picket-Heaps
Time-lapse microscopy
Green algae (Arthrodesmus sp.)
see Cytographics for more about their work

<< Back
Site Directory
Next >>