Do climbing plants know where they’re going?
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CrowdScience listener Eric, in New Zealand, has noticed his wisteria growing towards a neighbouring tree. He thinks that it actually knows where it’s going. But how can a plant have a sense of direction? Plants don’t have the advantage of brains or eyes, but that doesn’t seem to stop them from being clever enough to find out from their environment where to move and how to get there – all while being rooted to the spot. Marnie Chesterton visits the Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens in London, home to the largest collection of living plants in the world, to discover how plants make their manoeuvres, and talks to botanists and plant biologists for the latest findings on the mysterious life of climbing plants. Featuring: Dr Mariane Sousa-Baena, School of Integrative Plant Sciences, Cornell University Dr Ilia Leitch, Senior Research Leader, Kew Gardens Tom Freeth, Head of Plant Records, Kew Gardens Dr Silvia Guerra, Neuroscience of Movement Laboratory, Padua University Professor Christian Fankhauser, Centre for Integrative Genomics, Lausanne University Dr Sandra Knapp, Merit Researcher, Natural History Museum
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