Tree Nuts and Other Plants, Know Their Light

Tree Nuts and Other Plants, Know Their Light

Patrick Cavanaugh
Patrick Cavanaugh
Treenuts and other plants can actually stop light from entering their system. It’s called sunscreen. Troy Magney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. He said tree crops and other plants know when they have enough light for photosynthesis.

“So plants typically in agricultural settings, they are doing their maximum photosynthesis in the mid morning or late afternoon. Typically at peak sunlight, they can't use a lot of that light for photosynthesis,” said Magney. “So it actually takes extra energy for the plants to dissipate that light. If the plant is stressed out, even at mid-morning at low light, it won't be able to take all that light in. So excess light is not necessarily a good thing,” he noted.

“The plant have these built in mechanisms to basically say, this is how much light I can take in,” he said.

And all that other light is considered excess.

“Then they have efficient ways to dissipate that light. And one of which is just changing around the sunscreen pigments,” he explained.

Yes, sunscreen pigments in the plants, which essentially works like the sunscreen we put on when we're out and about.

In more news…. Jimmy Nichols is general manager of Nichols Farms in the Kings County area of Hanford. He farms, almonds and pistachios, and he noted that pistachios need lots of micronutrients and water to make sure that shell opens up.

“They need a lot of nitrogen boron potassium. If water is shorted, then that can lead to higher close shells,” Nichols said.

We all know about that. Closed shell and pistachios. When you reach in that bag, that closed shell just can't be open.

Previous ReportPistachios Have Complete Protein
Next ReportAn Entomologist’s View on Some of the Stressors on the Almond and Pistachio Industry This Season