Grass flowers are not dull, instead they glow in ultraviolet

GrassesOctober 13, 2013

Recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports 'UV induced visual cues in grasses' describes a novel finding of fluorescence emissions from the reproductive structures of grasses. Grasses are a critically important family as it includes cereals (rice, wheat, maize), millets (bajra, ragi), bamboos and fodders. They are vital food sources for humans and animals. Grass flowers are least attractive ('dull') in visible light. In this study, we showed that grass flowers and reproductive structures are very attractive in ultraviolet through their fluorescence emissions. We proposed these blue emissions from grass reproductive structures as enticing visual cues to pollinators (bees, other insects), seed dispensers (birds) and predators (birds, rats). We also found out the chemical molecule behind these blue emissions from grass reproductive structures. Again, grasses are considered as wind pollinated. But, our study provides strong evidence towards insect pollination in grasses. Our findings could also attract more research leading to the discovery of novel molecular or fluorescence-based pest, weed control measures in future.

Reference: UV induced visual cues in grasses. Nature - Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/srep02738 (OPEN ACCESS). (http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130924/srep02738/full/srep02738.html)

Here is a link that might be useful: Grasses glow

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donn_(7b-8a)

Fascinating.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:24AM
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