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Abstract Detail


Flynn, Colleen [1], Puzey, Joshua [2].

Springy Tendrils: A Comparative Study of the Biomechanics of Coiling Tendrils.

Many plant species exhibit tendrils that, after attaching to a fixed point, coil into a helical structure. Gelatinous fibers, also found in reaction wood, have been shown to control this action and allow the tendril to maintain its coiled shape. Although these gelatinous fibers are common in species with coiling tendrils, different species exhibit variations in its end morphology (be it handedness, presence of a perversion, or other), suggesting that the species may exhibit varying physiology that allows the coiling to occur. This study takes a comparative approach to examine two things: the role of gelatinous fibers in driving tendril coiling in independently evolved climbing plants, and the relationship of gelatinous fibers to the mechanical properties of the resulting tendril. We expect that there will be a marked difference between different species’ morphology that can be directly correlated to variations in their movement. In particular, we believe that the pattern of cellulose banding in the gelatinous fiber will have a significant affect on the tendril’s coiling habits and mechanical properties in each species. Knowledge of the coiling structures of tendrils can help further not only a better understanding of plant movement but also a more advanced biomimetic spring that may have real-world applications.

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Related Links:
A video of the stigma movement in Mimulus cardinalis filmed by Joshua Puzey.

1 - College of William and Mary, 110 Sadler Center, CSU2423, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185, United States
2 - College of William and Mary, Dept. of Biology, 540 Landrum Dr., Williamsburg, VA, 23185, USA


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Physiological Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PPS001
Abstract ID:298
Candidate for Awards:None

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