All of us have been in a restaurant with a group of friends where there is only one bill and individual payments, everybody tries to pay their part and the bill goes from hand to hand because nobody is good at math, well that wouldn´t occurred if we were plants, because plants are born knowing how to do complex arithmetic calculations.
A new study made by journal eLife shows that plants do arithmetic calculations before going in sleep mode, making sure they will have enough fuel to get through the night.
A scientist from the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norfolk, England concluded that plants make very precise calculations to use wisely the reserves of starch they have until the sun comes up. Martin Howard, leader of the mathematical modeler said about the results, “first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such sophisticated arithmetic calculation”
Alison Smith, the metabolic biologist involved in the project, commented that this is vital to botanical growth and productivity, if we understand this whole process, then we will be able to comprehend how plants grow in the dark.
The mechanism is astonishing. Inside the plants there are complex calculations that allow them to measure the amounts of starch reserves and utilize it until the sun comes up again, so they can photosynthesize again and complete another cycle. Furthermore, when the plants do this fascinating process they are avoiding starvation. Smith stated, “if the starch store is used too fast, plants will starve and stop growing during night. If the store is used too slowly, some of it will be wasted”.
Plants are fabulous and are great with arithmetic calculations, they also know know how to camouflage, for example, the tobacco plant makes itself less flavorful and the Mimosa pudica curls its leaves up so it looks smaller and less succulent for herbivores; plants measure time, because they have a set of proteins that respond to the amount of light they get and send a signal that activates the flower cycle; plants are so fabulous that they know how to communicate, for instance, they manufacture communication networks, they send “runners” and create simple communications sending warning signals to other plants part of the network, so all can prepare ranging toxins or chemicals that taste bad to herbivores. Plants have memory, they learned how to associate some wavelengths of light with types of danger. Plants are so sensitive that they grow differently in response to sound. University of Western Australia, the biologist Monica Gagliano discovered that plants emit and respond to sound, it might be a good idea to spoil them once in a while with sweet talk.
The scientist from the John Innes Centre in Norwich found the hidden ability when they studied Arabidopsis, a plant in the mustard family. The researchers discovered that the plants used their starch at a steady rate, furthermore they use 95 percent of their light income by dawn.
The researchers found that the process occurs when the molecule S (starch) and T (time). The molecule S stimulates the starch to breakdown and the molecule T prevents the process from happening, then the consumption of starch is set by the radio molecules S and T.
Plants are sensitive beings, as we are, they live in the same earth as we are, and they deserve respect and acknowledge. They do not have our type of brains, but they have evolved somewhat that plants are fabulous and know how to solve arithmetic calculations better than some of us.
By: Oskar Guzman
Source: BBC news, blog 109 we come from the future.