Plants can sense when something touches them

A remarkable study led by Washington State University has unveiled that even in the absence of nerves, plants can perceptively sense touch and its cessation.

This discovery centers around the experiments in which individual plant cells displayed a noticeable reaction to the delicate touch of a fine glass rod. These cells responded by transmitting slow calcium signals to their neighboring cells. 

Fascinating discovery stuns scientists
What’s even more astonishing, upon the release of the pressure, these cells initiated much faster wave patterns. While the scientific community has long recognized that plants can react to touch, the novel insight here is that plant cells generate distinct signals when they encounter touch and when it stops.

“It is quite surprising how finely sensitive plants cells are – that they can discriminate when something is touching them. They sense the pressure, and when it is released, they sense the drop in pressure,” said study senior author Professor Michael Knoblauch.

He found it fascinating that plants manage to do this differently than animals, despite the absence of nerve cells and at such an exquisite level.


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