Plants use underground fungus network to send ‘distress signals’ to each other [via Nina Reznick]

Plant scientists in laboratory via ShutterstockBritish researchers released a study saying that plants can communicate with each other by using an underground network of fungi. According to the BBC, the study, published in the journal Ecology Letters, said that plants signal each other when they are under attack by aphids to that other plants can secrete chemicals that repel aphids and attract the wasps that are the aphids’ natural predators.

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, the James Hutton Institute and Rothamstead Research joined forces to devise an experiment to test what role these threadlike fungi, called mycorrhizae, play in aiding communication between plants in distress.

The type of distress they chose to inflict on the plants and test their response was an attack by aphids. Aphids are tiny insects that feed on a variety of plants and many plants have developed an arsenal of chemical defenses to use against them.

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