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To listen is to survive: Unravelling how plants process information


by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) have mapped the signaling network in plants and discovered novel insights about how plants process information about their environment. This gives new potential for strategies to protect crops and help them thrive in the time of increasing droughts.

Plants must constantly integrate information on the availability of water and nutrients or about the presence of pathogens to produce fruits and seeds for reproduction, heavily used for human consumption. Given the increasing threat of droughts and the requirements of sustainable plant protection it is important to better understand the molecular mechanisms behind the information processing of plants. So far, different plant hormones were known to trigger molecular signaling pathways that result in developmental transitions like fruit ripening or drought response. While the signaling pathways are well studied, it remained enigmatic how the information exchange between them exactly works.

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