They may be rooted in the ground, but plants run their own Olympic organization.

Command and control center:  Running any large organization requires command and control.  Plants have one, too – one that runs on hormones.  A command and control center needs to respond to emergencies; plants can do that, too.  To see how they accomplish these functions, read “Lighting up the plant hormone ‘command system’” on PhysOrg.  The article ends with words from Zhiyong Wang of the Carnegie Institution:

“This command system seems not only to accept various inputs, but also to send branches of output signals, too, because each component acts interdependently on shared targets, but also independently on unique sets of target genes,” Wang said. “This complex network contains multiple layers and controls major plant growth and developmental processes. We believe this network will be a major target for engineering high-yielding crops.”

Intelligence agency:  Another article on PhysOrg has the attention-getting title, “Tel Aviv University researcher says plants can see, smell, feel, and taste.”  The first paragraph adds to the wonder:

Increasingly, scientists are uncovering surprising biological connections between humans and other forms of life. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher has revealed that plant and human biology is much closer than has ever been understood — and the study of these similarities could uncover the biological basis of diseases like cancer as well as other “animal” behaviors….


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