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Plants’ amazing sensor systems enable them to adapt in response to multiple environmental cues. Since plants can’t get up and move around, they have to grow, develop, and thrive where they are.To read the rest of this short but interesting article, click on "Multipurpose Plant Sensors Startle Scientists".
One of the key factors in a plant’s life cycle is processing sunlight in the form of duration (day length), light quality (wavelength), and light intensity. All of these interconnected light-related factors are monitored within the plant’s leaf cells by a family of sensor proteins called phytochromes. When the red to far-red region of the visible light spectrum changes during the day, or because of shade from neighboring plants, the conformation (3-D shape) of the phytochrome proteins becomes altered and they act like genetic switches.