Stacey Harmer and Hagop Atamian, plant biologists at the University of California, along with Davis and their colleagues studied sunflowers in the fields, in pots, and in growth rooms. They found that the plants grew more slowly than those with sunlight. Chasing the Sun accelerated the growth of the plant. The fact that sunflowers turn to the east at night, there is no specific cause, may be due to the activity of the biological clock. The researchers placed sunflowers in a room with lights that mimic the path of the sun during different light and dark cycles. The plants behaved as expected in a 24-hour cycle. But in the 30-hour cycle, they got mixed up. And when the plants were in 24-hour cycles outdoors and placed indoors under constant light, they continued to bend from east to west for a few days according to the cycle of the Sun. This means that the 24-hour circadian rhythm guides the sunflower’s movement.
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