Why Plants Become Stressed If We Touch Them – Scientists May Finally Have the Answer

Why Plants Become Stressed If We Touch Them – Scientists May Finally Have the Answer

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. 

According to ScienceAlert.com, a new study published in Science Advances might finally have the long-awaited answer.

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.




Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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