Soil-Weed Seed Communication Systems

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Dekker, Jack
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The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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The nature of weeds is a complex adaptive, soil-seed communication system. The nature of weedy Setaria life history is an adaptable, changeable system in which complex behaviors emerge when self-similar plant components self-organize into functional traits possessing biological information about spatial structure and temporal behavior. Setaria life history behavior is a Markov chain of irreversible and reversible processes regulated by morpho-physiological traits acting through environment-plant communication systems (environment-plant-seed, soil-seed). Heritable functional traits are the physical reservoirs of information guiding life history development, emergent behavior. The consequence of structural self-similarity and behavioral self-organization has been the evolution of a complex adaptive seed-soil communication system. Weedy Setaria life history is represented in algorithmic form as FoxPatch, a model to forecast seed behavior. Weedy Setaria seed life history behaviors are controlled by environmental information (signals) flowing from the soil to the seed embryo. The specific signal to which Setaria is tuned affecting seed behavior in the soil is the amount of oxygen and heat (T, thermal) in soil water over time, oxy-hydro-thermal time (O2-H2O-T-Time). The Shannon environmental-biological communication system between the soil and the Setaria seed contains the five elements (E) and components:E1, information source, soil; E2, transmitter, soil particle contact with seed surface water films; E3, channel, continuous soil particle-seed surface water films; E4, receiver, living seed interior from the transfer aleurone cell layer (TACL) membrane to aleurone layer to embryo; E5, destination, embryo. The signal is soil O2-H2O-T-Time; the message is O2-H2O-T stimulating embryo respiration. The Setaria soil-seed communication system seed behavior can be also expressed as operations (processes) computed by seed algorithms. Information is physical: memory resides in several locations in the Setaria seed. Memory is expressed in the long-term by responsiveness to O2-H2O-heat messages as determined by the morpho-physiological soil-seed communication system (hull, TACL membrane, scavenger protein). The message is remembered: plants pass on a range of heteromorphic seeds appropriate to continuing, successful local adaptation.


This article is from Universal Journal of Plant Science 1 (2013): pp. 9—20, doi:10.13189/ujps.2013.010102

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013