Thale Cress

(Arabidopsis thaliana)

Week 6
Year 2016
Thale cress stem.
Image Credit: "Arabidopsis thaliana" Kristian Peters © CC BY-SA 3.0

Can your plant do math? It seems that one plant, the Thale Cress or, Arabidopsis thaliana, may be able to. This plant, which was the first plant to have its genome sequenced in 2000, seems to demonstrate that it can do basic math to researchers.[1] When the amount of time is varied of artificial daylight given (to simulate early/late sunset) to Thale Cress, it seems to calculate how much food storage it needs until sunrise (amount of food divided by time). Before, this was thought to be a fixed rate, but now, evidence suggests that this ingenious plant can calculate how fast it should go though its food reserves to make it through the night.[2][3] Can other plants do this as well?

Do you know any fun facts or tips?


[1]: "Arabidopsis Thaliana (thale Cress)." Kew - Royal Botanic Gardens. Accessed February 18, 2016.

[2]: Ledford, Heidi. "Plants Perform Molecular Maths." Nature - International Weekly Journal of Science. June 24, 2013. Accessed February 18, 2016.

[3]: Agapakis, Christina. "Are Plants "actually Doing Maths"?" Scientific American. June 28, 2013. Accessed February 18, 2016.