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LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cornell Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cohen group unravel root cause of plant twists and turns

To feed the world’s burgeoning population, producers must grow crops in more challenging terrain – where plant roots must cope with barriers. To that end, Tzer Han Tan, the Itai Cohen group and Boyce Thompson Institute plant biologists have uncovered a valuable plant root action, in that roots – when their downward path is blocked, as often occurs in rocky soil – display a “grow and switch” behavior, now reported in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Prof Chris Henley, who passed away last June, also contributed to the research.

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