Apr 27, 2020

Rhythmic temperature control in a homeothermic plant: A field study of thermogenic Japanese skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus renifolius

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
H. TanimotoKikukatsu Ito


The spadices of skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus renifolius) can generate heat and maintain an internal temperature of about 23oC, even when the ambient air temperature drops below freezing. In this study, we continuously measured the spadix temperatures of skunk cabbage together with ambient air temperatures during March 2019 in their natural habitat in northern Honshu on Japan's main island. Using Fourier transform we showed that the temperature of the thermogenic spadix oscillates over a period of approximately 60 min. Our data suggest that Japanese skunk cabbage possesses a novel timekeeping mechanism that may be associated with a homeothermic control of this plant.

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