For decades, researchers have wondered why plants become uncomfortable if we simply touch them. Such action will trigger a stress reaction in those green organisms, and nobody was able to explain exactly why it happens.
Olivier Van Aken, a biologist from Lund University (Sweden), explains how the researchers tried to solve the conundrum::
We exposed the plant thale cress to soft brushing, after which thousands of genes were activated and stress hormones were released,
We then used genetic screening to find the genes that were responsible for this process.
Six separate genes were found to play a role in the plants’ response to getting touched. But it may be just the beginning when it comes to looking for the big answers. Scientists have even more homework to understand why the response happens.
Essam Darwish, who’s also a biologist at Lund University, explained:
Our results solve a scientific mystery that has eluded the world’s molecular biologists for 30 years,
We have identified a completely new signaling pathway that controls a plant’s response to physical contact and touch. Now the search for more paths continues.
Otherwise, there are many amazing facts about plants that everyone should know. Over the centuries, the human race has learned to exploit the power and wonderful benefits of plants. For instance, 90 percent of the food we humans consume is provided by just 30 plants. Many plant species are utilized for medical purposes: around 70,000.