Many avid gardeners believe that 'talking' to their plants helps them thrive -Turns out they may not be cuckoo after all. If scientists from the University of Exeter are to believed, plants may be constantly communicating with each other, via a secret 'invisible' language.
For their experiment, the scientists picked a cabbage plant that is known to emit a gas when its surface is cut or pierced. In order to get video evidence of the communication, they modified the cabbage gene by adding the protein - luciferase, which is what makes fireflies glow in the dark.
When the modified cabbage plant was in full bloom, they cut a leaf off with a scissor - Almost immediately, thanks to the luciferase they could see the plant emitting 'methyl jasmonate'.
While this was a known fact, what was surprising was the fact that the minute this gas began to float out, the nearby cabbage plants seemed to sense some kind of danger and started to emit a gas that they normally reserve to keep predators like caterpillars away.
What the scientists are not sure is whether the plants are trying to warn the other leaves about the danger or the neighboring plants - Something that will require further research. However, the team that was led professor Nick Smirnoff, is quite excited by the findings because this is the first time it has been visually proved that plants do not live a passive life, but actually move, sense and even communicate with each other.
However, before you get all concerned, they are 100% sure that plants do not feel the pain when they are cut, since they do not have nerves - So go ahead and bite on that juicy carrot!
Resources: Dailymail.co.uk, news.in.msn.com