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How plants sense and respond to their neighbors: variation on a theme

Plants rely on light not just for photosynthesis but also for information.  Many plants have a sophisticated suite of photoreceptors and responses that allow them to sense and respond to competition for light from their neighbors. Known as the shade avoidance response, the response to neighbor shade can include increased stem elongation, altered branching, and early flowering. Plants undergoing shade avoidance prioritize growth over defense and reduce allocation to fruit and seed, reducing agronomic yield.


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