TEL AVIV — The Botanical Garden is a blooming paradise, about four hectares filled with a rich array of some 3,800 species drawn from Israel’s diverse landscape and from around the world.
Danny Chamovitz, director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University, visits the garden often to conduct research or just to take a stroll. It's the perfect setting to talk about his new book: “What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses.”
“I wrote the book because I had come to realize that a lot of what I take for granted -that plants have senses, that plants see, that plants smell, that plants know when we’re touching them - most people don’t know," he said. "And so I wrote the book to show how complex a plant’s life is and to show the science behind it.”
Earlier in his career as a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University, Chamovitz researched how plants use light, isolating the genes responsible for photosynthesis. Sitting beside a shade tree, he gently pulls on a low-hanging branch, thick with leaves.
“You can see that its stems are longer than the ones that are at the top, which are in the light," he said. "And it knows this because it can actually differentiate between higher amounts of light and smaller amounts of light and it uses this information either to make itself longer to get toward the light, or once it’s in the light, to make its leaves broader so that it can do its photosynthesis and make the energy.”
1.blooming adj. 盛开的；妙龄的
It is spring only when all the flowers are blooming.
2.stroll n. 漫步；闲逛；巡回演出
We are ready to take a stroll in the village.
3.post-doctoral adj. 博士后的
Most postdoctoral work is funded by the research councils.
4.photosynthesis n. 光合作用
Our current research topic is photosynthesis.
5.differentiate vt. 区分，区别
She can differentiate this kind of rose from the others.