How Do Plants Determine Where Light Is Coming From?

Plants have no visual organs, so how do they know where light comes from? In an original study combining expertise in biology and engineering, a team led by Professor Christian Fankhauser at UNIL (University of Lausanne), in collaboration with colleagues at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), has uncovered that a light-sensitive plant tissue uses the optical properties of the interface between air and water to generate a light gradient that is “visible” to the plant. These results were published on November 23, 2023 in Science. The article is titledAir Channels Create a Directional Light Signal to Regulate Hypocotyl Phototropism.”
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