sptlt224 webpageNature is bursting into life these days. Every year at this time in the Northern hemisphere, and despite what may be troubling the world - wars, forced migrations, terrorism, earthquakes, locusts or, lately, a virus - spring simply unfolds as it always has. Much in the way your grandfather would perhaps stroll down a path, whistling a tune to himself with his hands deep in his pockets and his thoughts miles away, spring, too, seems quite content and happily unconcerned by what is going on around it. Nature can only spring into action, however, if it gets the right cues. And there are several: sunlight and starch to name but two. Thanks to daylight, for instance, plants are able to make carbohydrates - i.e. energy - and then use them for their growth and development. Consequently, sugars are continuously trafficked from one part of a plant to another, and stored or indeed broken down for energy. For shoots to appear along the length of a rose's stem, for example, besides light, sugars are required in huge quantities and, for this, many enzymes are triggered into action. In the common modern rose, Rosa hybrida, one such enzyme is a vacuolar invertase - acid beta-fructofuranosidase 1 - which specifically breaks down sucrose to provide rosebuds with what they need to bloom. Read more