Researchers at Sweden’s Lund University have solved a mystery that has remained unsolved for 30 years. The mystery they solve could enable plants to produce faster crops, and this could prevent a potential famine in the future.
Sometimes plants react like closing or opening their leaves when touched, have you ever wondered why? This 30-year-old genetic mystery has finally been solved . It has been known for a long time that touch can trigger stress reactions in plants , but the researchers’ work to explain the reason for this reaction was inconclusive.
In their experiments, researchers from Sweden’s Lund University found genetic codes that explain how plants respond so strongly to mechanical stimuli such as touch. So how can solving this mystery and cracking the genetic codes benefit us?
In this way, it can be ensured that plants bloom and bear fruit much faster.
Unlike humans, plants cannot feel pain, but they respond strongly to mechanical stimuli such as human touch, animal touch, wind and rain. These external factors lead to the rapid activation of the plant’s molecular defense system, which causes the plants to become more resistant and bloom later.
Although this event has been known since Darwin, there are still many question marks on the subject. A recent paper (the research mentioned above) published in the journal Science Advances examined the complex regulatory networks that influence how the plant’s defenses are strengthened by external influences, and revealed its genetic codes.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden say: “We stimulated plant cress with gentle brush strokes, then thousands of genes were activated and stress hormones were released. We then used genetic screening to find the genes responsible for this process. Our results have eluded the world’s molecular biologists for 30 years. solved a scientific mystery.
We have identified an entirely new signaling pathway that controls a plant’s response to physical contact and touch. “Given the extremely volatile weather conditions and pathogenic infections caused by climate change, it is critical to find new ways to increase crop productivity and resilience to maintain the ecological balance.”
If researchers can break this code and reverse the defensive effect, it could help provide higher yields and improved stress resistance in future crops, which could be one of the most powerful countermeasures to famine.