Plants, like Ringo, “get by with a little help from their friends”on October 25, 2008 at 12:54 pm
Thanks to books like The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird which featured the work of pioneering researcher Cleve Backster (actually a polygraph expert, rather than a botanist), bizarre ways in which plants seem to communicate with each other and the world around them have been reconsidered in the last few decades. Recently, botanical research conducted at the university of Delaware suggests a scientific basis for a similar sort of communication plants use to “call for help” when under attack.
ABOVE: A microscopic image of the beneficial Bacillus subtilis bacterium.
As discussed at the Physorg.com website, “Researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered that when the leaf of a plant is under attack by a pathogen, it can send out an S.O.S. to the roots for help, and the roots will respond by secreting an acid that brings beneficial bacteria to the rescue.” This new research illustrates plant’s as of yet unknown abilities to ward off potential threats that researchers say “rivals the nervous system in humans and animals.” What else might our green-and-leafy friends be capable of that we mammals take for granted?
One final, rather cosmic note: Dennis McKenna, an author and brother of the late famed ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna, once said that during a vision he had after consuming the powerful ayuhuasca tea, used by Shamen in native rituals around the world, he became a water molecule travelling through the stalk of a plant engaged in the process of photosynthesis. “Somehow I understood, though no words were involved, that the Banisteriopsis vine was the embodiment of the plant intelligence that embraced and covered the earth.” At the end of his vision, a voice told him, “You monkeys only think you’re running things.”
Indeed, maybe there is far more going on than we realize…