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Viable plant growth without light??

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Viable plant growth without light??

Postby dijitolboy » Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:17 pm

Hi all. I'm a new member of the forum, and I had an idea. Most people know that 99% of plants use photosynthesis to store light energy in the covalent bonds of sugar molecules. I'm not a botanist, so I'm not positive what sugar molecule it is, but I know it's not glucose, and I THINK it's fructose. Here's my question: Plants need light because they need sugar...not because the plant just "needs light". If one were to artificially supply a plant with fructose (i.e. an injectible watery solution), would the plant thrive in a total absence of light? I'm sure that IF this were possible, the plant would show adaptation to its environment, such as small (or no) leaves, thin stems, and other signs of "light-stressed" growth, but the question still remains: will it live? Any thoughts are appreciated. [/b]
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Postby mith » Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:48 pm

How about a plant cell culture?
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Postby dijitolboy » Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:51 pm

Yea, but that's individual cells being cultured microscopically. I'm talking about a full-fledged adult plant, that up until that point has grown from light, being switched over to a sugar solution.
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Postby ERS » Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:20 pm

there are orchids that lack chlorophyll, grow and even flower entirely underground. They are pollinated by flies that burrow in via mud cracks and the plant gains nourishment from organic material in the immediately surrounding soil... is this the type of life that you are thinking of??
I don't know the name of the particular orchid, I think it lives in Australia, but I will keep my eyes peeled.

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Postby ERS » Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:21 pm

there are orchids that lack chlorophyll, grow and even flower entirely underground. They are pollinated by flies that burrow in via mud cracks and the plant gains nourishment from organic material in the immediately surrounding soil... is this the type of life that you are thinking of??
I don't know the name of the particular orchid, I think it lives in Australia, but I will keep my eyes peeled.

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Postby MrMistery » Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:16 pm

First of all, photosynthesis first produces the 6 izomer of fructose bonded with a phosphate: fructose-6-phosphate. This is later turned into sucrose and starch
Now, about your question:
In short: NO!
It is true that the main thing plants need light for is photosynthesis. If you were going to supply a plant with sucrose than you wouldn't need light because there is no photosynthesis needed, right? Wrong. The plant needs to get rid of co2 from cellular respiration and needs to eliminate water to make the root absorb more water and keep the flow going. The plant does this by stomas. But the plant knows that the main thing it need stomas for is CO2 for photosynthesis. So it has devised an incredible solution: the stoma is opened by blue light. I am not going to go into the complex cellular mechanism which opens the stoma as this would be pointless. But the main thing you should know is that in the absence of light, the stomas will remain closed and co2 will acumulate in the plant. Also the water flow will be interupted. This is what usually happens at night. But if this continues for a long time, the plant dies.
So it really is not that simple, is it? :wink:
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Postby dijitolboy » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:14 pm

_at_ everyone: thanks for replying.

Ok ok, so maybe it wouldn't live...but could you SUPPLEMENT a plant with sugar solution? would it be more vigorous (assuming you didn't give it an infection)? I just think it would be cool to find a way to get a plant to grow huge, FAST. And i'm not talking about miracle-gro LOL.

I didn't know that blue light was responsible for opening the stomas...and thanks for not delving into a 53-step cellular process to explain it.
I also didn't know about those orchids...that's fascinating. I'm curious to know: how do the orchids transpire?? :?:
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Postby MrMistery » Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:37 pm

The process only has 14 steps. I counted them
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Postby dijitolboy » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:21 pm

ok, thanks for not delving into a 53-39 step process
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Postby mith » Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:06 pm

Are you thinking of having a plant run on an IV drip?
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Postby MrMistery » Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:48 pm

mithrilhack wrote:Are you thinking of having a plant run on an IV drip?


What the heck is that?
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Postby opuntia » Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:47 am

ERS wrote:I don't know the name of the particular orchid, I think it lives in Australia,

ERS,there's no need to peel your eyes :wink:
They are Rhizanthella slateri, the Eastern Underground Orchid which is found from south-east Queensland to central-eastern New South Wales ( it is saprophytic and lives in a symbiotic association with a mycorrhizal fungus.); and R. gardeneri, the Western Underground Orchid, which is found only in south-west Western Australia.And the most interesting fact about them is that they lack of chlorophyll and don't have leaves or roots.
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