How to Build a Plant

How to Build a Plant

• Did you know that a plant embryo has a heart stage?

• As in animals, a fully functional plant is built from a single cell. After the first set of divisions, the 8 cells (octant) are already distinguished into upper and lower halves that will become the shoot and root.

• Next, each cell divides tangential to the surface to separate into outer and inner layers (globular stage). The cells near the base elongate, while those near the top divide horizontally to form a triangle, and then a heart shape. The furrow in the heart deepens to form a torpedo, which eventually unfurls to form the first leaves (cotyledons) of the seedling.

• The evolution of multicellular organisms occurred many times and independently, in plants, animals, algae and fungi. The switch from a solitary existence to a community of cells happened long ago (over 500 million years). The challenges to building this community may sound familiar: how to control its growth, division of labor, mutual cooperation and resolution of conflict 🙂

Image Source:




This entry was posted in Rajini Rao and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to How to Build a Plant

  1. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks, guys! I first saw the heart stage by chance this morning, and had to find out more 🙂

  2. Arnav Kalra says:


    Rajini Rao sorry for asking an unrelated question. What is more important in chemistry, understanding or practice?

  3. Rajini Rao says:

    If I had to choose (why must I?), I would say understanding the basis of chemistry gives you more options to practice it in the long run.

  4. Arnav Kalra says:

    You need to when you don’t like chemistry and are doing it just because you need to do it.

    Also, when you only like the conceptual part where you learn new things and so you either go for a teacher who forces it on you or someone who actually knows it but doesn’t care about forcing or pushing students to practice questions and all.

  5. Arnav Kalra Without understanding, you run a much higher risk of blowing up or creating a toxic gas while “practicing”.  Kindof like how doctors “practice” without really understanding what they’re doing, causing them to endorse a pill with 5 lethal side effects and 50 that are worse than lethal, over a plant with like 5 minor side effects and no permanent ones.

  6. Arnav Kalra says:

    I’m not gonna be a chemist (The mit professors who teach their intro course say that they thought so in high school too).

    My intuition and interest in science and learning about new things makes sure that I understand things very well.

    However, for exams testing a student’s understanding is not valued as much as his knowledge and the practcie he has done.

    e.g. if you practice a lot it’s possible that you’ve practiced more than half of the questions(esp. in physics and inorganic) you see in a medical entrance exam so you just tick the answers.

  7. Rajini Rao says:

    Arnav Kalra , there is real pleasure in understanding something instead of memorizing facts or mechanically executing them. Learning how to learn is a life-long skill. Sift through the jumble of facts and jargon, search through many alternate sources and when it all comes together, you’ll feel on the top of the world 🙂

  8. Arnav Kalra says:

    I know.

    Ask someone the basics of cooking at a molecular level, at that time one realises the usefulness of understanding.

    Any tips on how to develop this skill?

  9. Rajini Rao says:

    Successful exam taking is a skill all by itself, isn’t it? You can think of it as a game: do you see a pattern in the past exam questions? Usually, its the same principles that are tested over and over again, with different wording. I wasn’t an intuitive math solver, but I would look at a problem and recognize it as being similar to one I’d solved before. If doing well in a test is important for a specific goal, then you’re going to have to buckle down and practice 😉

  10. Arnav Kalra says:

    I sleep in the easy ones (seriously, bad at focusing).

    My intuition is usually good at a large variety of things. (I stumble on calculus sometimes).

    In india everything (like life or death scenario) depends on a single entrance test (for me the medical entrances).

    How do I make myself practice?

  11. Arnav Kalra Imagine what happens if you don’t practice at all.  Or pick a path that interests you enough that you automatically focus because you enjoy it, and find it interesting.

  12. Arnav Kalra says:

    physics is like that. I enjoy practicing the most difficult, 3/4 layered questions and don’t look at the easy ones.

    Medicine comes closest to that path.

    Social sciences is next.

    Maths is the last.

  13. Rajini Rao says:

    Have a heart, Roelf Renkema . Let’s play nice 😀

  14. Rajini Rao says:

    Oh my, what a great picture, Dan! 🙂

  15. Rajini Rao says:

    Gnotic Pasta , I was pumped up when I saw these images 😉

  16. I will simply +1 and be dumbfound!! Thanks Rajini Rao 

  17. Rajini Rao says:

    R Prakash Prakash , astonishingly elegant, isn’t it? 🙂

  18. True Rajini Rao It is reconfirming the fundamentals of life  astonishingly. 

  19. Arnav Kalra Practice to understand, and understand to practice.  Never be afraid to experiment, hypothesize, learn, apply, and practice.

  20. Rajini Rao says:

    I couldn’t have said it better, Jagu Barot ! Thanks.

  21. Asif Q says:

    I thing u w I n due

  22. Arnav Kalra says:

    Thanks Jagu Barot sir

    The last word scares me. I love all the others. I guess I just need to do it.

  23. NEY MELLO says:

    “The challenges to building this community may sound familiar: how to control its growth, division of labor, mutual cooperation and resolution of conflict :)”  Rajini Rao  Most human beings are still caught in the vagaries of negotiating the way through existence, to pay attention to the obvious…When one does, one is a genius!, and the title is deserved, as it requires so much courage and will to not be brainwashed into a sub-animal awareness state by the time one is a teen, that 99.9% of us don’t make it to a state of  lucidity… 😀

  24. Arnav Kalra says:

    They do get embedded into ones mind so that one is able to do most stuff without any serious effort.

  25. Arnav Kalra says:

    NEY MELLO how do I know if I’m not in that state?

  26. Arnav,The practicals are meant to train you in safety and to help you overcome your fear and anxiety. After few sessions safety will become a routine.  Chemistry is to be approached with care and caution.  The fact that you posed the question tells me that you want to learn, and therefore, you will do well.  Hard work at your school has many rewards in the future.  Go for it.

  27. Arnav Kalra says:

    Thanks sir. I am a curious person and I usually know what i want and how to do it. Implementation is my weak point but I’m working on it.

  28. george m. says:

    mmm…. electron micro?

  29. Hello Rajini Rao. Great post.

    I just called in special forces (that is our humble Scientist Dr. Rajini Rao ) on my post about Tardigrades. Looks like these min devils can survive ridiculous adverse conditions. Please post your thought on the post if any.

  30. Perin Gosar says:

    gm rajni 

    good things shared by u 

  31. Rajini Rao says:

    george mogaka , the images are from a fluorescence optical microscope that uses lasers to get sharper focus on optical sections. It’s not an electron micrograph. 

  32. Rajini Rao says:

    Hi mandar khadilkar , tardigrades are peculiar, primitive creatures distantly related to arthropods. They use a number of clever adaptations to go into suspended animation under hostile conditions.  I’ve left a comment on your post. Let me know if you have questions.

  33. Rajini Rao says:

    Martin Geoffrey Lake , as I understand it, plants can develop from any adventitious buds that appear separate from the apical meristem at the tip of a root or shoot. As long as this mass of tissue is transplanted (with the help of auxins, or plant hormones, typically), new plants can grow. I think all plants can  be propagated vegetatively, as long as you have the right tissue to start with e.g.,

  34. 👌👌👌👌👌👌👌

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s