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The Amazing Reaction When a Plant Is Threatened – Neurotransmitters Trigger Defense Responses In Plants

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Supplying glutamate directly to the tip of one leaf creates a strong wave of calcium across the entire plant, visualized by fluorescent light.

source/image: UW-Madison Campus Connection

This video is part of research by UW–Madison botany professor Simon Gilroy that shows how waves of calcium crisscrossing a plant help it respond to attacks by preparing for future threats. The work was published in Science in September of 2018.

When plants are under attack – say, for instance, by an insect making a tasty leaf meal – their defence systems are raised in other parts.The fluorescent wave surging through the plant vein evokes imagery of a nerve impulse.

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The amazing bit of it is that we can now visualize the same kinds of processes going on in plants.The videos provide the best look yet at the communication systems within plants that are normally hidden from view.

VIA UW-Madison Campus Connection
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