Not long after publishing a paper in a prestigious journal about plants being able to ‘talk’ using sound, Monica Gagliano is back with her new findings showing that they can ‘learn’.
While this may sound stranger than fiction, Dr Gagliano, an Australian Research Council research fellow at The University of Western Australia’s Centre for Evolutionary Biology, has solid evidence to support her theories, the latest of which is published in Oecologia.
Her work is becoming famous, with a recent mention by Michael Pollan in the New Yorker.
Her new article – written with Associate Professor Michael Renton and Dr Martial Depczynski from UWA’s School of Plant Biology and Oceans Institute respectively, and Professor Stefano Mancuso at the University of Florence in Italy – is titled “Experience teaches plants to learn faster and forget slower in environments where it matters”.
Plants may lack brains and neural tissues but they do possess a sophisticated calcium-based signally network in their cells similar to animals’ memory processes, they write.