Tree and fungus
Home ยป Bacteria and plants entangled in Research Blogging

Bacteria and plants entangled in Research Blogging

There’s been a couple of posts on Research Blogging that have caught my eye in the past couple of days. Both of them are interesting because they show how important studying interaction is to understand the natural world.

Tree and fungus
Tree and Fungus

Lab Rat comments on a paper on Trees that farm bacteria. She also points out the connections trees make with fungi. The key feature of these partnerships is that they are interactions between two or more parties, not bacteria adapting to a passive environment.

Plants are even less passive in the paper reported on at Phased, who has the “Man Bites Dog” story of the plant world. This indicates that plants aren’t merely farming bacteria for nutrients, but also for lunch. Tomatoes have been shown to draw in microbes through the roots and tagging with Nitrogen-15 shows bits of them end up in the leaves.

Both papers show how interdisciplinary approaches can be important. I know some people who are very keen on the idea of interdisciplinarity, but see it as something at happens at the boundaries of a subject. In both cases here these papers study problems that make no sense without genuine interdisciplinary, as opposed to multidisciplinary work.

I think that’s part of the attraction of Botany. As well as being a field at the cutting edge of Biology, it’s also intrinsically connected to other fields of study because plants are the basis of so much activity on the planet. I think Microbiology has the same kind of pervasiveness, but Botany makes nicer photos.

Alun Salt

Alun (he/him) is the Producer for Botany One. It's his job to keep the server running. He's not a botanist, but started running into them on a regular basis while working on writing modules for an Interdisciplinary Science course and, later, helping teach mathematics to Biologists. His degrees are in archaeology and ancient history.

Read this in your language

The Week in Botany

On Monday mornings we send out a newsletter of the links that have been catching the attention of our readers on Twitter and beyond. You can sign up to receive it below.

@BotanyOne on Mastodon

Loading Mastodon feed...