IGM Colloquium: How plants feel gravity: a granular problem

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Event details

Date and time 31.03.2020 12:1513:15  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Olivier Pouliquen, IUSTI Laboratory, Aix Marseille University, CNRS
Category Conferences - Seminars
A plant accidentally put in a horizontal position bends and deforms to recover a vertical position. A crucial step in this gravisensing occurs in specific cells, the statocytes, which contain small grains of starch. The grains being denser than the surrounding intracellular fluid, they sediment at the bottom of the cell and form miniature granular piles at the bottom of the gravisensing cells. How such a sensor works and can detect inclination is unclear. Here, we address this issue by combining experiments on biological systems at the plant scale and at the cell scale and experiments on biomimetic systems. We explain how plant can be so sensitive to inclination using such an a priori « rudimentary" sensor.

Olivier Pouliquen is a CNRS director of research, director of the IUSTI laboratory from Aix Marseille University.
His favorite research areas concern granular flows, suspensions, and more generally materials made of grains, which are found in many industrial, geophysical or biological systems, but whose behaviour is still poorly understood.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



IGM Colloquium: How plants feel gravity: a granular problem