Smoke Signals | April 12, 2010 Issue - Vol. 88 Issue 15 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 88 Issue 15 | pp. 37-38
Issue Date: April 12, 2010

Smoke Signals

Seeds sprout in the ashes of forest fires, thanks to small molecules in smoke
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: karrikins, smoke, butenolides

The gray haze that lingers after a forest fire isn’t just a hallmark of devastation. Within that smoke’s wispy tendrils also drifts a family of signaling molecules ready to summon the forest back to life.

Smoke, it seems, has the power to make seeds sprout. For decades, scientists have been hunting for the molecules responsible for this growth-triggering power as well as those compounds’ mechanism of action. By delving into the science of smoke signals, . . .

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