Accessibility statement

Thinking without a brain: The self-organisation of plant form

Ottoline Leyser

Wednesday 27 November 2013, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Professor Ottoline Leyser, The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge

York Biology Lectures

Animals adjust to the environment in which they are living by modifying their behaviour, a process co-ordinated centrally in the brain. Plants are equally environmentally responsive, with many of these responses involving adjustments in growth and development. Because of this, two genetically identical plants growing in different environments can look very different from one another. The regulation and co-ordination of environmental responses in plants happens without a brain and indeed without any co-ordinating centre. Instead, mounting evidence suggests a role for an elegant system of interacting long-range chemical signals that move throughout the plant, balancing growth between the root and shoot, and across the root and shoot systems, through self-organising competition between growing tips. Understanding how this system works has important implications for predicting plant responses to the environment, and particularly for breeding plants adapted to agricultural environments.

Other lectures in this series include:

Location: Room P/X001, Physics

Admission: is free and open to all. No ticket required.