Day / Night Movements

Animals often show very different behaviours between day and night. Sleeping and feeding are just two examples that animals often restrict to the dark or light period. But did you know that plants also anticipate day / night regimes and really look different?

This bean seedling was grown under natural day/night rhythms conditions (approximately 9 hours dark, 15 hours light) and then moved to the imaging set-up with constant light. Images were taken every 3 minutes, frame rate is 50 fps.


These Trapaeolum seedlings were ready to be planted in the garden, but not before we captured their leaf movements. The lamp is slightly in front of the plants, probably explaining why they, during the anticipated night, they anticipate light from a specific direction. Seedlings were grown under natural day/night rhythms conditions (approximately 9 hours dark, 15 hours light) and then moved to the imaging set-up with constant light. Images were taken every 6 minutes, frame rate is 25 fps.


These tobacco seedlings were entrained to a long day light rhythm (16 h light, 8 h dark) before they were brought to our constant light imaging setup. Notice the upward leaf movement (called hyponasty) in the evening and downward movement early next day. The rhythms persist even though light was not cycling anymore during the > 48 hrs of imaging. Images were taken every 4 minutes, frame rate is 25 fps.

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