For protection against microbes, plants shed their flowers quickly

For protection against microbes, plants shed their flowers quickly

For protection against microbes, plants shed their flowers quickly

According to new research, plants let their flower quickly fade in order to protect themselves from harmful microbes. The researchers found that microbes living on flowers can negatively impact fruit yields through field experiments and plant microbiome analysis. Plants will quickly shed their flowers to protect themselves from microbes.

  • The results suggest that old flowers harbor microbial communities that are different from those at anthesis and that the microbes present on old flowers negatively impact plant reproduction.
  • Despite not receiving much attention, antagonistic microbes which rapidly proliferate on flowers could have affected the evolution and life span of different flower characteristics like flower volatiles and flower lifespan.
  • The energy required to produce and maintain flowers. It seems that flowers are a reproductive system and plants would be better off keeping them longer.
  • The mystery of why plants use their energy to make fragile flowers that die quickly. Instead, they looked into how to invest a little more energy to make flowers that last longer.
  • Interestingly, flower longevity is negatively related to temperature. The hotter the environment in which they bloom, the longer the plant keeps them. This phenomenon is well-known for many years.
  • The antagonistic microbes such as bacteria or fungi that grow on flowers after they open their buds may be what shortens a flower’s lifespan. It was not a coincidence that microbes are more efficient at higher temperatures.

Despite the fact that they had no signs of disease or infection, the experimental plants produced fewer fruits. Researchers analyzed the microbiomes and found that several bacteria groups were growing with the passage of time.

Flower characteristics have been mostly studied in the context of interactions with pollinators. Flower volatiles, which is commonly viewed as primary pollinator attractants, can also be used to suppress antagonistic microbes.

The effects of microbes may be more profound in the evolution of angiosperms than previously thought.

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