Updates will be sparse for awhile owing to the fact that I’m at the University of Alabama working with Ryan Earley on some hormone work AND because my Mac is still out for repairs.

Rick Karban of the University of California-Davis and his colleagues have discovered that plants the plants are talking to themselves.

Sagebrush_bloomsThese researchers discovered that when a sagebrush plant is cut (as when it has been bitten by a herbivore), it releases chemical compounds that communicate with other branches that are genetically identical. By communicating with itself in this way, the plant is able to coordinate a counter-attack to decrease its likelihood of being further damaged by herbivores.   The article can be found here.

Knowing that even plants are talking to themselves makes me feel a bit better about doing it myself.

4 Responses to “The plants are talking to themselves…”

  1. Christoph

    Huh? This is new? I remember watching a documentary in my childhood about this plant’s behaviour. Granted, I’m only in my twenties, but.. Hell, I once toyed with the thought of writing my bachelor’s thesis on those plants. In psychology, to find out if they can be conditioned to, for example, release the pheromones (Are they called that in plants?) under learned conditions other than being cut.

    Also: Yes, awesome! 😀

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  4. sezaar

    I remember reading a news paper article on plants having “emotions” like years ago. It had to do something with releasing certain chemical compounds. So I’m guessing thus study is in the same vein.

    Still interesting read (like the rest of your blog, even for someone who studied philosophy and ethics but wrote his dissertation on a medieval biologist).

    PS: a late happy birthday

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