A research team at the University of Exeter visualized on television the ability of plants to communicate, the university reported on its website.
Injured plants are capable of releasing a gas that triggers responses in plants around them. But the team at Exeter, led by Professor Nick Smirnov, was the first to catch the process on film by infusing a plant with a firefly gene and using a special camera.
The experiment was conducted for How to Grow a Planet, a three-part nature documentary on vegetable life and its impact on Earth that started airing on BBC Two television on Tuesday.
Though communication between plants is a well-documented fact, botanists remain unsure about its mechanism and purpose. The University of Exeter did not comment on whether the experiment by Smirnov’s team advanced science’s understanding of the process.