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Re: [fukuoka_farming]More on Plants feeding by endocytosis

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Lucia, One last word: there is as yet little information on exactly how much nutrition any given food plant gets from endocytosis. Scientists only know
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 29, 2008
      Hi Lucia,

      One last word: there is as yet little information on exactly how much nutrition any given food plant gets from endocytosis. Scientists only know that at least 4 kinds of endocytosis occur in plants and that rhizobacteria as well as some large nonliving molecules can enter that way. We are, alas, still very very far from doing anything like replacing the ion theory of plant mineral intake with one based on endocytosis. Do both methods work together? Is one just an incomplete description of the other? Do some plants not feed by endocytosis? Do some plants feed only by ion mineral absorption? Do they overlap? Is nutrition by endocytosis insignificant as compared with nutrition by ion transfer? Are there two different kinds of nutrition or just two different ways or pathways of providing the same nutrients? How much of any of this matters to farmers and food gardeners. We now have only a very big, ill-fitting bracelet of question marks to show
      ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????and we must all (especially me) exercise great caution in reaching conclusions before the evidence is in. (We must not count our conclusions before they are hatched, I guess).

      The nuanced answers, quantified and qualified, may lie deep within the very dense fields of biophysics, molecular biology, nanotech, and systems biology.


      Best wishes,

      Bob Monie
      Mardi Gras in New Orleans
      Zone 8, USA

      lucia@... wrote:
      thanks Robert and Dieter for your explanation. interesting.

      Lucia

      On Mon, 28 Jan 2008, Robert Monie wrote:

      > Hi Dieter and Lucia,
      >
      > In endocytosis, cells ingest or take in large molecules, not just elemental particles. That is, they take in whole compounds at the molecular level, not just atoms or ions of elements as Leidig initially thought they did. Traditional biologists and biochemists presumed plants just didn't have the "right stuff" to do this (they weren't astronaut material). When bold free thinkers like Bargyla Rateaver first suggested that plants did in fact have the right stuff, she might have as well have said that crocodiles do word searches in the Oxford English Dictionary. Eyes rolled, and people looked the other way: "Just another Berkeley/San Diego sprout-eating California eccentric, you know."
      >
      >
      > Now poker-faced plant physiologists realize that something is happening in plant nutrient cycles that they have to account for, and nothing else other than endocytosis will account for it. In a summary of research Jozef Samaj says that plants perform "at least" 4 kinds of endocytosis (whole molecule ingestion/transport); 1) clathrin dependent; 2) lipid raft-dependent; 3) phagocytosis; 4) and fluid-phase endocytosis. He targets important papers in the literature that explose the following operations:
      >
      > 1) plants recycling plasma membrane molecules, including
      > proteins and sterols
      > 2) plants taking up extracellular fluids
      > 3) plants internalizing whole molecules of pectins with boron and
      > calcium attached
      > 4) plants taking in SOIL BACTERIA by PHAGOCYTOSIS
      >
      > This last one has even some of the poker faces showing astonishment.
      >
      > I wish that a biological genius like Lynn Margulis would devote extended research to this topic, but she has so much to explore, it probably won't happen. According to Amazon Rain Forest biologist Francis Halle in his book "In Praise of Plants" (required reading for all Fukuokans), the entire history of Biology has given short shrift to plants and what they can do. Humans, being animals themselves, have always viewed plants as belonging to the "lesser orders" that can't talk, walk, or ingest whole morsels as we wonderful humans do. In the great chain of being, the plants are low, low, low, to be trampled upon and taken for granted: the Cinderellas of the Earth. Now if only a handsome prince (or princess) and his (her) great pumpkin chariot would happen along.
      >
      > To those of you who would like to read Jozef's review of plant endocytosis, google.com to (no quotation marks) to the following phrase: the existence of endocytosis in plant cells was drawn into question. Entrance to his study will be at the top of the page. His bibliography includes most of the poker-faced scientific studies on plant endocytosis (plus a lot of great stuff on animal endocytosis), and maybe a few not so poker-faced studies too, through 2004.
      >
      > Bob Monie
      > Mardi Gras
      > New Orleans, LA 70119
      >
      > Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
      > Lucia,
      >
      > I'm not a scientist and the experts will probably find my understanding
      > of the subject too simplistic. But I believe that the practitioner (the
      > gardener or the farmer) also has a need to _know_ since our idea of
      > how plants feed will ultimately determine how we feed the soil:
      > organically or chemically.
      >
      > Since the days of J. v. Liebig it is believed that plants feed on chemical
      > substances (NPK + trace elements) by ion absorption. But all along
      > there has been a minority opinion that plant cells, like animal cells, can
      > also absorb organic compounds. One of these minority voices was
      > B. Rateaver, author of the Organic Primer Update, who was a fervent
      > advocate of plant cell endocytosis, something which is normally
      > considered only animal cells are capable of. She was very vocal
      > in her opinion and stated outright that ion absorption by plant cells was
      > a fabricated lie.
      >
      > On Wikikipedia, you find a description of how endocytosis works together
      > with diagrams of the constituent parts of a cell. If I remember correctly,
      > the idea is that when a cell dies, it's constituent parts, membrane, plasma,
      > core, etc. decompose. According to the advocates of plant cell
      > endocytosis, these parts can then be absorbed into a living cell as
      > macromolecules without first being decomposed into chemical elements.
      > The macromolecule is enclosed by part of the cell wall or membrane and
      > is then absorbed into the plant cell.
      >
      > If this sounds fantastic, the alternative is perhaps even more fantastic,
      > namely that life constantly creates itself out of dead matter under
      > our feet.
      >
      > As I mentioned in a previous message, I think the question is not trivial,
      > because if plant cells _only_ feed by ion absorption, the agrochemical
      > industry is right and toxic chemical cannot enter the food chain. However,
      > if plant cells can absorb macromolecules, then herbicides, pesticides,
      > fungicides or the constituent parts thereof can enter the food chain, because
      > all these toxic chemicals don't just disappear into nothing or somehow
      > miraculously transform into honey and milk. Many of these chemicals
      > or their constituent parts are bound by organic compounds which in the
      > case of plant cell endocytosis would then enter our food and our body.
      >
      > Perhaps, somebody with a better understanding can complete or
      > correct the above.
      >
      > Dieter Brand
      > Portugal
      >
      >
      > lucia@... wrote:
      > can anyone explain briefly, what endocytosis is? if it's not asking too
      > much. thanks.
      >
      > Lucia
      >
      > On Fri, 25 Jan 2008, Robert Monie wrote:
      >
      > > Hi Dieter,
      > >
      > > In the journal Protoplasm, Vol 226, no. 1-2, pp.3-11, October 2005 plant physiologists F. Aniento and D.G. Robinson nearly summarize the current scientific position:
      > >
      > > "For many years, endocytosis has been regarded with great [skepticism] by Plant Physiologists. Although now generally accepted, care must still be taken with experiments to demonstrate endocytic uptake at the plasma membrane."
      > >
      > > This can be roughly translated to mean that traditional biologists only very grudgingly admit that plants can (or "might possibly") feed by endyocytosis and do not trust most of their colleagues' work on the subject. Deep in their skeptical hearts, they hope that the whole thing will turn out to be a misreading due to poor measuement, faulty observation or some other lab error.
      > >
      > > The matter would seem to be still a sort of Victorian issue not to be discussed among proper ladies and gentlemen, in or out of the lab. ("The whole thing seems to be--well--improper and irregular"). Still, there is at least one substantial
      > > book on the subject, by Josef Samaj et al--Plant Endocytosis, ISBN 978-3-540-28197-9
      > > (available from Amazon.com).
      > >
      > > My guess is that the plants don't care about whether it is proper or improper, and they do take in nutrients in many ways, among them by endocytosis.
      > >
      > >
      > > Bob Monie
      > > New Orleans
      > > Mardi Gras Parades Have Begun, So That Means It's Mardi Gras (ending with Fat Tuesday,
      > > Feb. 5)
      > >
      > > Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
      > > Bob,
      > >
      > > I have dug out the whole quote in the meantime, but I guess
      > > you have that already. In Germany, this text has been out of
      > > print for over 100 years. But according to that quote, he really
      > > did recant completely.
      > >
      > > I didn't know B. Rateaver used to subscribe to this list. I'm
      > > very interested in her ideas about plant nutrition. She was
      > > very positive that plants are not fed by ion absorption but by
      > > endocytosis or absorption of macromolecules into the cell.
      > >
      > > I haven't been able to find much else on the subject, so I
      > > don't really know what is the current scientific opinion on
      > > this. Anybody, any ideas?
      > >
      > > Dieter Brand
      > > Portugal
      > >
      > > PS: Is it already Mardi Gras, or are you ahead of time?
      > >
      > > Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
      > > Hi Dieter,
      > >
      > > According to Joel Gruver of Tuft University's Center for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Ms. Bargyla Rateaver, organic gardener and for a time a member of this list, and William Jackon, author of "Humic, Fulvic, and Microbial Balance," Justus v. Liebig changed his mind
      > > toward the end of his life. Liebig came to see that Nature was much larger and more complex than his reading of it had been. He attempted to disown his former mechanistic view of plant nutrition, but many of his followers by that time had accepted it as immutable truth and the profits to be gained by selling artificial fertilizer were so compelling that the damage done could not be turned around.
      > >
      > > There is a brief account of this to be read if you go to google.com and enter (no quotation marks) the following words: that at the end of his life, Justus von Liebig recanted.
      > >
      > > Bob Monie
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