As biology students know, most flowering plants are both male and female, however, the Japanese climbing fern is an exception because individual plants are either male or female. Until recent studies, it was not understandable how some of the plants grew to become male; meanwhile others grew to be female. A new team of researchers from Nagoya University and the University of Tokyo has just discovered that the Japanese climbing fern communicates with others of its kind using pheromones as a means of selecting the gender of maturing plants. The researchers have confirmed that it is due to a form of intergenerational communication between the plants. In their paper published in the journal Science, the researchers explain how their study of the Japanese climbing fern, led to a better understanding of the role that the pheromone gibberellin plays in its reproduction process.
Read more about this article here: http://phys.org/news/2014-10-ferns-gender.html