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
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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