Plants panic and warn each other when they get wet, new study reveals

A new study revealed that plants exhibit panic-like behavior every time they get wet or when it rains

Photo of rain drops on leaves. Pixabay

A team of scientists discovered the fascinating response that plants make when it rains or when they get wet. As per scientists, they exhibit panic-like behaviour and warn other plants when they detect water.

Plants are not fond of water

Although water is considered as a vital factor in the growth of plants, it seems these green, leafy organisms aren't too fond of the effect it has on them. According to a new study conducted by a team of scientists from Australia, plants become defensive each time they get wet.

This was proven by biochemist Harvey Millar of the University of Western Australia after using a spray bottle to simulate rain. He and his colleagues noticed that the planets displayed panic-like behavior.

Why do plants become defensive when they get wet?

This behavior was characterized by the various chemical reactions that the plants went through. Some of these reactions, which were triggered by over 700 genes in the plants, affected their hormone balance and protein creation.

Plants are very diverse in spite of a common ancestor Pixabay

Millar explained that bizarre behavior is a form of coping mechanism that plants naturally use in order to protect themselves from the possible diseases and bacteria present in the water. "In the future, we'll really be able to understand how plants are coping with rain, because rain can bring disease. It can bring a whole variety of other factors, which affect plants," Millar said in a statement according to Earth Sky. "We'll be able to equip plants to interact with their environment in a different way than they do at the moment," he further added.

How do plants emit warning signals?

As part of the plants' defense mechanism, the scientists also learned that they can emit warning signals to other nearby planets when they get watered. According to Millar, the plants are able to communicate in this manner by releasing chemicals in the air. Through this, the plants are able to warn other others in order to prevent the spread of diseases.

Millar stated that if a plant's neighbors have its defense mechanism on then they will spread less diseases which will benefit them so spreading the warning is important. The findings of the researchers regarding the plants' reactions to water were detailed in a study published in the Oct. 29 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.