Plants have a body clock just like humans says The Naked Scientist

Every week The Naked Scientist offers listeners the opportunity to probe his brain on anything weird and quirky.

This week's science story:

Goldfish in icy ponds hold key to foetal alcohol syndrome

Goldfish are extremely resilient and can survive for months when the pond they live in freezes over and deprives them of access to oxygen. Under these conditions, the oxygen levels fall to near zero, which kills the majority of fish, but not goldfish or their close crucian carp relatives. So how do they survive?

The unlikely answer is that they churn out alcohol says the Naked Scientist.

Researchers like Liverpool University's Michael Berenbrink, who fathomed out how it works and published the work this week in Scientific Reports, because it might reveal new ways to prevent the toxic effects of alcohol in the body.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Do flowers, especially roses, go into dormancy?

John, caller

Plants have a body clock in the same way you and I have a body clock. Plants keep time and they know exactly what time of day and night it is and they use it to control their metabolism explains the Naked Scientist.

He goes on to say that during the day, plants photosynthesize, they capture energy from sunlight using it to drive chemical reactions that produce sugar which is the food they run. He adds that in the evening, plants need to work out how fast to run its metabolism to avoid running out of sugar before the sun comes.

The Naked Scientist says if plants deplete their energy, their cells will be damaged.

To hear more of the Naked Scientist listen below:


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