SEP 20, 2018 9:28 AM PDT

A Plant 'Nervous System' is Found

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Plants don’t have a nervous system, but they do seem to have a method for communicating with one another. In a way, it’s like their own kind of nervous system.

In animals, excited nerve cells secrete glutamate, an amino acid, which travels to the next nerve cell like a wave. Signals can thus go a long way. In plants, glutamate can have a similar effect.

Researchers studying how gravity affected plants created a sensor that detected calcium levels; it glows brighter as levels increase. In a test, they cut a plant leaf, then watched as the wound glowed and dimmed; then the glow appeared further away - it was a calcium wave. Glutamate was then confirmed as the stimulus for that wave. Learn more from the video by Science.

About the Author
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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