“So does that mean we can just punt on this planet? What say you, Buckaroo B.?”
MisterMoonlight on Feb 6, 2014 at 23:59:22
“I realize now that I have neglected the most important point, that there is much more to learn both here and out there. We should not neglect either. And never stop learning.”
MisterMoonlight on Feb 6, 2014 at 23:49:20
“I think this falls into the realm of hedging your bets, Dr. Martine, don't you?
Proud to make your acquaintance.
I was lucky enough to have a wonderful botany professor during my studies at Southeastern Louisiana University in the 90s, and although I was well gone by the time of Bobby Jindal's ascendancy, I remember that what I felt upon hearing of it was a profound sadness that what seemed to be a promising mind had descended into the realm of political irrationalism.”
“I think I need to write a whole piece on the strawberry, because it's pretty special.
The thing that we eat is a combination of multiple parts, but the fleshy red bit is not technically a fruit, at all. Each strawberry comes from a single flower with multiple ovaries attached to the central, cone-like floral stem (called a receptacle). Each one of those ovaries ripens into a single-seeded dry fruit called an achene. These are the little brown "seeds".... and they are embedded in the receptacle that swells and becomes fleshy as they mature.
So you are eating a bunch of tiny dry fruits and the juicy red stem they are all attached to.
If you look closely at the achenes on your strawberry, you should be able to see that many of them still each have their own style and stigma.”
Plain Jane28 on Jan 13, 2014 at 13:11:50
“Awesome! I can't wait to relay this information to my captive, unwilling audience that is my family =D”
“Yes, Jane, you are pretty much correct. Fungi have a primary vegetative body (called a mycelium) that lives in soil or some other substrate. When the time to reproduce comes along, the mycelium produces a fruiting body that it will use to release spores. Mushrooms are an example of these fruiting bodies...... so when you see one poking up out of the soil, it's connected to the rest of itself down below.”
UncleDaKine on Jan 12, 2014 at 04:36:31
“Enjoyed your Article Dr Chris... Reminded me that daughters are just great!!.. (As a Dad of two daughters)... Now they're grown up, and I'm old, they look out for me!”
Mekales on Jan 11, 2014 at 20:27:23
“Then, Dr. Martine, where does the strawberry fir into each of the three catagories? Fruit - because it's sweet... but its seeds are on the OUTSIDE....
Being an nerdy floral, vegetable and bulb gardener, THESE are the true questions of my existence!”
“Also a good idea and a conversation that we had. One of the issues facing taxonomic work in Australia is a dearth of human capital. There are simply not enough trained scientists (nor positions for them) to do all the biodiversity work that could be done there. So those doing the work are rather stretched.
“Thanks, Trousers. And this is a good question. This species is dioecious, so plants are either male or female. In other words, an individual plant makes either pollen or seeds - but never both.
The really neat part is that this is one of around 15 species of Australian bush tomatoes in which the female plants bear flowers that appear to be bisexual - but the pollen they produce is "fake." Female plants pretend to be hermaphrodites, more or less. A story for another post, perhaps...”
R Pesso on Jul 21, 2013 at 16:22:56
“We evolved from plants? Is a single life source the answer? I think so.”
TrousersForDinosaurs on Jul 19, 2013 at 21:59:27
“It was a long shot! Do you know the Gatsby Group? The plant science guys? I went to geek camp there after the first year of uni and they explained a lot of stuff I have mostly forgotten but they did make plants more exciting. I got to see a plant cell down an electron scanning microscope and they'd made all the organelles different colours and bioluminescent with jellyfish DNA! It was so cool! I bet they'd love to have you go and give lectures if you'd be up for it, it's only for posh stuck up unis so they'd treat you like a princess.The thing i like best about tomatoes is you can graft them onto potato plants and grow potatoes underground and tomatoes overground! That and pasta sauce. I'd love to read more articles by you, I do free science journalism for a local magazine and I'm always trying to explain difficult concepts simply, I think I could learn a lot from you”
“That's a fair question. Exporting/importing live plant material is problematic, for starters. The best way to do what you propose would be to collect seeds and then start them in a greenhouse - which is what I had hoped to do. Unfortunately, locating fruit in the field was just as difficult as finding flowers... at least during the times I have been there.”
inconvenientfacts on Jul 21, 2013 at 05:56:20
“Why not collaborate with the local botany community that tipped you off in the first place to get seeds? Maybe let them know finding ripe fruits and their precious cargo of potentially viable seeds is a priority for the next step of growing the plant under observed conditions to chart out its complete life cycle and allow closer examination? Just a thought.”