Scientists from Exeter University in Britain have confirmed that plants talk to other plants and to find out how plants talk, the Scientists modified a gene in Cabbage which triggers a production of a gas emitted when a plant’s surface is cut or pierced.
We have always known that Speech is a complex phenomenon that has evolved over a long period of time with the advancement of brain as part of the evolution. We humans are the only one known to be equipped to communicate with multiple languages.
Now, Scientists claim that plants too can talk. Does that mean they too have a brain? If so, what is their language of communication between them? To understand the answers for these questions, we need to know what Scientists mean when they say plants too can talk.
Unlink our languages and speech plants do not talk with sounds, words and sentences. They talk with Chemical Signals. Professor James Cahill’s University of Alberta, Canada, who does a lot of study on plants thinks: Plants do not have a brain like us. But they are able to integrate information and are able to communicate with all sorts of organisms. And they do this chemically.
To prove that Plants do talk to each other, the Scientists at Exeter University added the protein luciferase – which makes fireflies glow, to the DNA of a Cabbage plant. They then made cuts on the leaf of the plant with scissors and monitored the plant on camera. The wounded plant started emitting a gas – methyl jasmonate in the air, probably, as a way to let the other plants know that there is some danger.
Two nearby Cabbage plants which had not been touched received the message and began producing toxic chemicals on the leaves to protect themselves from predators such as caterpillers.
The University of Exeter led by Professor Nick Smirnoff conducted this experiment that visualizes communication between plants for a BBC program and was filmed in the University’s state-of-the-art Biosciences laboratory.
While Scientists have managed to show the fact that gas emitted by wounded affects their neighbors they still don’t know why it happens. It could be to alert other leaves of the same plant but the neighboring plants could have picked up the signal or have they evolved to an extent where they emit the gas to alert other plants is a question Scientists are yet to find the answer.
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