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Thinking Scientifically
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1. Describe the steps of the scientific method that Jennifer Thaler used to study plant defense against insects and that Candace Galen used to identify the plant part responsible for heliotropism.

2. Poinsettias are short-day plants. What can be done to encourage these plants to flower in December?

3. Why does mixing leftover fruit salad with fresh fruit hasten rotting the mix?

4. Tomato plants produce jasmonic acid only when they are being eaten by insects. What are two reasons that it would not be adaptive to produce this chemical all the time?

5. Although spinach and ragweed each require 14 hours of sunlight to flower, spinach flowers in the summer and ragweed (as hay fever sufferers can attest) flowers in the fall. Explain the seasonal difference in flowering.


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Additional Questions and Terms

1. Plants signaling each other with jasmonic acid has only been demonstrated under laboratory conditions. What type of evidence in the field (wild conditions) might indicate that plants communicate in this way?

2. How can farmers use different plant hormones, or their synthetic equivalent, in their crops?

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