knoblauch-80PETERSHAM, Mass. — Michael Knoblauch, a plant cell biologist at Washington State University, is in the stretch run of a 20-year quest to prove a longstanding hypothesis that what drives the flow of nutrients in phloem is pressure differential.

Fully understanding how plants function — how they circulate the sugars made in the leaves — could lead to improvements in crop yields and resistance to pests and disease.

An article and video about his work appears on the science section of today’s New York Times. See it at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/science/trees-plants-nutrient-flow.html?ref=science.