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Plants recognize and get along with their siblings…

September 24, 2012

Here is a recent article reporting on plant communication, how plants from the same mother “get along better” (compete less for root space). In the study, related plants growing side by side will have shallower root systems. Needless to say this could have interesting implications on agriculture and horticulture in general.

When you’re done reading this article and decide you’d like to learn more on recent scientific findings related to plant communication, here are some articles I’ve posted.

Article and link below from Phys.org…
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Plants recognize siblings, researchers discover how

October 14, 2009

Plants may not have eyes and ears, but they can recognize their siblings, and researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered how.

The ID system lies in the roots and the chemical cues they secrete.

The finding not only sheds light on the intriguing sensing system in plants, but also may have implications for agriculture and even home gardening.

The study, which is reported in the scientific journal Communicative & Integrative Biology, was led by Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware. Canadian researchers published in 2007 that sea rocket, a common seashore plant, can recognize its siblings — plants grown from seeds from the same mother.

Susan Dudley, an evolutionary plant ecologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and her colleagues observed that when siblings are grown next to each other in the soil, they “play nice” and don’t send out more roots to compete with one another.

However, the moment one of the plants is thrown in with strangers, it begins competing with them by rapidly growing more roots to take up the water and mineral nutrients in the soil.

Read the full article at Phys.org:
Plants Recognize Siblings

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 12, 2012 10:08:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing these articles about plant communication!
    It’s comforting to see that scientists are getting interested in what many people who pay some attention to plants suspect.
    A friend told me about a study on plants reacting to human presence, but can’t remember where she read it and I haven’t found it either. The plants were filmed in a greenhouse (no wind, no insects, etc…) and you could see their leaves and branches moving toward the person present in the greenhouse. If you knew and could share something about it, i’d be very thankful.

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