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How Plants Communicate With One Another

How Plants Communicate With One Another

May 3, 2016

Natural Sciences

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice — Prof. Ariel Novoplansky, a plant biologist from BGU’s Marco and Louise Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, was the featured speaker at a recent event hosted by AABGU’s Philadelphia Chapter.

The event took place at Morris Arboretum, the University of Pennsylvania’s interdisciplinary resource center, which is also recognized as the official arboretum of the state of Pennsylvania.

Ann Waldman, former chair of AABGU's Philadelphia Chapter; Prof. Ariel Novoplansky; and David Blumenthal, member of the chapter’s board of directors

Ann Waldman, former chair of AABGU’s Philadelphia Chapter; Prof. Ariel Novoplansky; and David Blumenthal, member of the chapter’s board of directors

Prof. Novoplansky spoke about plant communication, a topic he has researched and written about for years. Through a study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, Prof. Novoplansky and his team discovered that such communication is possible via the plant root system.

In their study, they established that unstressed plants were able to receive and pass on information through their roots from nearby drought-exposed plants. The unstressed plants responded to this information by closing up their orifices, known as stomata, in preparation for possible exposure to future stress.

“The results [of this research] demonstrate the ability of plants and other ‘simple’ organisms to learn, remember and respond to environmental challenges in ways so far known only in complex creatures with a central nervous system,” says Prof. Novoplansky.

The potential global impact of this discovery could be the ability to enhance food production, especially in parts of the world in substandard conditions.

Prof. Novoplansky explains his groundbreaking research in this video from his talk at TEDx Jaffa.

Read more on The Philadelphia Jewish Voice website >>