marble berry cell - chris siefert - google docs

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Pollia   Condensata   Cell    By   Christopher   Siefert      Most  pigments  fade   over  time   but  even  when  it  transparent  material  is  arranged  on  the   surface   of  dies  the   marble   berry  continues  to  shine   for years  a   substance,   said  physicist  Ullrich  Steiner  of  with  an  iridescent  hue.  That’s  because   its  color  Cambridge   University.  Th
  Pollia Condensata Cell By Christopher Siefert Most pigments fade over time but even when it dies the marble berry continues to shine for years with an iridescent hue. That’s because its color  comes from specialized cells within the fruit instead of a pigment. Pollia Condensata, normally called the marble berry, is a plant with a shiny, metallic blue fruit. It is said to have the most intense color in the world, which is created by layers of cells that refract light, just like butterfly wings. A marble berry that was grown at the Kew Botanical Gardens in London in 1974 maintained its intense color and still continues to. Fascinated, a team of researchers from Kew, the University of Cambridge and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum decided to look into how this  plant produces such an intense color. When they attempted to extract a pigment to study, though, they were surprised to discover the fruit had none. All the berry’s cells are coiled into a twist. The cells form sheets, like the skin of an onion. Light filters down through those layers in a way that creates something called structural color.   Structural colors come about not by pigments that absorb light, but the way transparent material is arranged on the surface of  a substance, said physicist Ullrich Steiner of  Cambridge University. This fruit is one of the first known examples in plants. We compared it with some other structural colors, such as the morpho butterfly wing, which is often described as the strongest structural color. This is stronger.  When light hits the berry's surface layer it reflects through three levels of cells that guide light reflected from the innermost level, producing the  berry's strong metallic colors. The outermost level is made from layers of thick-walled cells. The walls themselves are made from densely packed stacks of cellulose fibers. These strands are arranged in layers of twisting, arced helix shapes, which interact with each other to scatter light and  produce the fruit’s deep blue coloration. As some layers don't add up to blue, flecks of other hues can be seen on the berries, which because of the cells' configurations have a pixelated appearance, with each cell representing a single pixel. The berry is found in the forests African countries. It has metallic blue berries that are that are mainly seeds. Although it’s called a fruit, it can’t be eaten. In some African nations, the fruits have been used for decoration because their  colors stay for many years. Marble Berry under an electron microscope   Marble Berry  
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