Plants ‘Talking’ to Each OtherCredit Aratani et al. Nature Communications, 2023

Scientists have witnessed plants ‘talking’ to each other and sending warning messages in groundbreaking footage.

Since the 1980s, scientists have been aware that nearby plants communicate when they sense danger or face an attack. However, the exact process of how plants receive these warning signals from their neighbors remained a mystery.

A group of researchers at Saitama University in Japan recently captured remarkable footage showcasing the communication between plants. They utilized real-time imaging techniques to uncover how plants pick up danger signals from their neighboring counterparts.

Footage Shows Plants ‘Talking to Each Other 1Credit Aratani et al. Nature Communications, 2023

Plants are enveloped by a subtle mist of airborne compounds, undetectable to humans, which serves as a means of communication and protection. These compounds play a crucial role in alerting nearby plants to potential threats.

Plants ‘Talking’ to Each OtherThe experimental set-up to visualize calcium signaling in Arabidopsis leaves.  CreditAratani et al. Nature Communications, 2023

The scientists elucidated their findings by genetically modifying the plants. They introduced a biosensor into the plant cells that emitted a green fluorescence upon detecting an influx of calcium ions. This process mimics the calcium signaling used by human cells for communication.

The study published in Nature Communications