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Chasing Sunlight: Cucumber Tendrils in Action

Like other climbing vines, cucumber plants make use of tendrils that tether them to a surface and form helical coils, pulling them up towards sunlight. Coiling is a complex mechanical process, modeled in this video.

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Resource Type: Video, Report
Audience Level: High school upper division 11-12, Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, General public & informal education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Sharon J. Gerbode of Harvey Mudd College, Harvard University, Joshua R. Puzey of Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Andrew G. McCormick of Department of Physics, Harvard University, L. Mahadevan of School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Publisher: SCIENCE
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: No
Cost: Yes


Posted by: Mike on 07-15-2013
As a molecular biologist who teaches supercoiling to beginning and advanced students, I see this video in a different light than that of engineering. Instead I see it as a tool to stimulate the imagination of those who might know topology better.

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