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ZingPath: Plant Structure and Function

Photoperiodism in Plants

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Plant Structure and Function

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Photoperiodism in Plants


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You will get to familiarize yourself with the significant parts of plants, and what they do. Experiment on coleoptiles to discover how plants grow toward light, and test your knowledge of plant physiology by designing an award-winning xeroscape garden.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define photoperiodism.
  • Classify and give examples of plants according to their photoperiodic responses.
  • Explain the advantages of photoperiodic responses in plants.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What are some characteristics and examples of short-day plants?

~ Short-day plants develop their roots, stems, and leaves during the summer when there are more hours of daylight and fewer hours of darkness. However, when daylight hours decrease and nighttime hours increase in the fall, short-day plants produce flowers. Some examples of short-day plants include chrysanthemums, poinsettias, and strawberries.

What are some characteristics and examples of long-day plants?

~ Long-day plants require fewer hours of darkness to induce flowering. When daylight hours increase, nighttime hours decrease and thus long-day plants are exposed to optimal conditions for flowering. Some examples of long-day plants include carnations, wheat, oat, ryegrass, and clover.

What are some characteristics and examples of intermediate-day plants?

~ Intermediate-day plants cannot be categorized as either short- or long-day plants and thus are termed intermediate-day plants. They need longer days than short-day plants, but shorter days than long-day plants in order to flower. Examples are grasses and sugar canes.

What are some characteristics and examples of day-neutral plants?

~ Day-neutral plants flower independent of day length and instead may be triggered by other environmental factors such as low temperature. Some examples include roses, cotton, and dandelions.

What is photoperiodism and why is it important in a plant's life cycle?

~ Photoperiodism is the biological response to a change in the proportions of light and dark in a 24-hour cycle. Plants use it as a measure of the seasons and when to flower. Photoperiodism is an adaptation that ensures that flowers will bloom when their pollinators are most abundant, thus ensuring the greatest amount of pollination, and the production of the most offspring.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with the following terms: day-neutral plants, flowering, and intermediate-day plants.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary day-neutral plants, flowering, intermediate-day plants