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Sugar affects the way plants flower


Sciencey blog! Everyone loves a sciencey blog. Well. I like a sciencey blog, so there.

So what science have we for you, this surprisingly pleasant February Monday? Well, the latest plant science on the grapevine (does that qualify as a pun? Probably not) is a remarkable piece of research from the Max Planck institute.

Researchers there, led by Vanessa Wahl, have produced a paper that reveals that the sugar levels in a flower help to influence when it will flower. Wahl and her team discovered that T6P, a type of sugar molecule, regulates when a plant will flower. Without T6P, plants will fail to flower even if all other conditions are perfect.

"Since plants contain only minute amounts of T6P, it has been suspected that it could be a signalling molecule", explains Wahl. "However, until now nobody knew how T6P interacted with the complex genetic network that regulates the onset of flowering."

So the next time that you get a sugar craving, remember you're not the only one -- flowers feel that way too!

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