Scientists Film Plants 'Talking' To Each Other In Face Of Danger | Watch Incredible Video

A team of molecular biologists at Saitama University in Japan, led by Yuri Aratani and Takuya Uemura, has not only unraveled this phenomenon but also captured the communication in a groundbreaking video. Published in Nature Communications, the study showcases the behavior of plants when in face of danger and how they respond.
Plants talking to neighbour

In a breakthrough discovery reminiscent of nature's hidden language, plants have been revealed to communicate with each other. (Image: Aratani et al. Nature Communications, 2023)

In a significant discovery, plants have been revealed to communicate with each other. A team of molecular biologists at Saitama University in Japan, led by Yuri Aratani and Takuya Uemura, has not only unravelled this phenomenon but also filmed it on camera. Published in Nature Communications, the study showcases the behaviour of plants when in face of danger and how they respond.
To conduct the experiment, researchers set off caterpillars on leaves cut from tomato plants and the common weed Arabidopsis thaliana. To magnify the impact on the neighbouring plant, these compounds were concentrated in a plastic bottle and pumped into the recipient plant Arabidopsis, which was no ordinary plant; its cells were genetically engineered with a biosensor that fluoresced green upon detecting an influx of calcium ions.
The resulting video vividly displays undamaged plants responding to distress signals from their injured neighbors, exhibiting calcium signaling across their extended leaves. Researchers pinpointed the compounds Z-3-HAL and E-2-HAL as inducers of calcium signals in Arabidopsis. Through the experiment, the scientists were able to identify the initial responders to danger cues – guard cells forming stomata, mesophyll cells constituting inner leaf tissue, and epidermal cells making up the outermost layer.
Guard cells promptly generated calcium signals when exposed to Z-3-HAL, followed by mesophyll cells.
Masatsugu Toyota, a molecular biologist at Saitama University and senior author of the study, exclaimed, "We have finally unveiled the intricate story of when, where, and how plants respond to airborne 'warning messages' from their threatened neighbors. This ethereal communication network, hidden from our view, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding neighboring plants from imminent threats in a timely manner."
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