From: Michigan State University
Published May 15, 2017 01:32 PM

More genes turned on when plants compete

Some people travel to northern California for wine. However, Maren Friesen, Michigan State University plant biologist, treks to the Golden State for clover.

The lessons of plant diversity and competition learned from a clover patch, which are featured in a special issue of the Journal of Ecology, can potentially unlock secrets on plant interactions around the globe.

“There’s something quite special in how clover assemble such diverse communities. They compete, yet they have many traits in common due to shared ancestry,” Friesen said. “Native Californian Trifolium represents a special system for understanding competitive interactions among close relatives. We’d like to understand their processes of diversity before they’re all gone.”

These special patches of clover are located on a handful of hills in Northern California. Friesen’s patch was in the Bodega Marine Lab reserve, run by the University of California, Davis, which harbors a diverse community of clovers.

Read more at Michigan State University

Image: A clover can potentially unlock secrets on plant interactions around the globe. (Credit: Courtesy of Michigan State University)

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