Plants warn their kin of danger


Plants have many special qualities that set them apart from other inhabitants of the planet. So, plants don’t get cancer, they are able to adapt to the natural needs of other living organisms and able to transmit information in case of imminent danger. Scientists from Cornell University has proven that plants can communicate with each other when they are attacked by pests.

Plants are able to warn each other about the threat of pests

Can plants communicate with each other?

A new study by researchers from Cornell University have shown that plants are able to exchange messages in the form of air chemicals known as volatile organic compounds. Thanks to these substances, plants have a specific open channel of communication through which information is transmitted about the approaching pests.

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In order to confirm or to refute this theory, Andre Kessler, Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell, had an interesting observation for the plant species Solidago altissima and beetle leaf beetle. According to his research, the scents of plants exposed to attack, be similar to each other. In other words, plants are able to communicate in the same language of smells, allowing them the freedom to share particular information.

Volatile organic compounds help plants to communicate with each other

Study Andre Kessler showed that nearby plants can pick up the warning signals and prepare for the potential threat, which may become a pest. According to Kessler, plants change their metabolism at the time of the attack, which helps them to cope with the attacking. Similar survival strategy is the human, which is a terrific immune system. Despite the fact that plants don’t have antibodies, these organisms are unable to deal with their attacking insects with special protective compounds that kill the herbivores and thus save the plant from destruction.

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The researchers believe that conclusions based on the conducted observation, can bring some benefit to farmers and to those involved in agriculture. So, the results of studies already successfully applied in Kenya, which is already put into operation a new system of protection of crops from pests based on the principles of interaction of various plant species and their communications.