Like us, plants need water to survive. But this does not mean that green leaves of trees, shrubs or flowers enjoy the rain more than people. When gray clouds appear in the sky and rain begins, the reaction of plants to drops of water that fall from the sky is instant, all-consuming and close to the “panic” reaction. This conclusion was made by scientists from the University of Western Australia. The results are published in PNAS. Oddly enough (it is believed that water should bring life to plants, not death), experts believe that moisture is the main way of spreading diseases among vegetation. The longer the leaves remain moist, the greater the likelihood that a pathogen will settle in them.
What happens to plants when it rains?
When a drop of rain falls on a leaf, tinywater droplets ricochet in all directions. These drops may contain bacteria, viruses, or fungal spores. One drop can spread them up to 10 meters and infect a large number of plants. Agree, this is pretty unpleasant. It turns out that the reaction of plants to rain is similar to how people react to coughing or sneezing around: it is unpleasant and forces you to take a defensive position.
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Using an aerosol can, sprayingwhich looks like rain, an international team of researchers has observed the rapid effect of domino microscopic plant changes triggered by the powerful Myc2 protein. Although the changes were instantaneous, repeated contact ultimately led to a delay in plant growth and a delay in flowering. When Myc2 is activated, thousands of genes come into action, preparing plant protection, scientists write in their work. These warning signals propagate from leaf to leaf and cause a range of protective reactions.
In total, it was found that at least 20Protein-linked genes are directly directed and regulated by Myc2 after spraying water. Moreover, the same signals that these plants used to spread information among the leaves were also used to communicate with nearby vegetation. One of the many chemicals that are formed in response to drops falling on leaves is jasmonic acid, which regulates many physiological processes associated with plant growth and stress. Plus, when the jasmonate chemicals are in the air, they can also tell other plants what is happening and how to handle it. In other words, plants protect themselves and the vegetation closest to them. What other amazing facts do you know about plants? Share them with the participants of our Telegram chat.
Earlier this month another team of researchersfound that when plants are in danger, they develop a universal “language” to warn others. The work was published in the journal Current Biology. Researchers note that despite the fact that rain is not deadly for plants, sometimes water droplets can cause the disease to develop. That is why plants can be said to panic.