By Teresa Antequera Cerverón
In relation to the sense of sight, sunflowers, in their constant orientation to the sun, are the best of the examples. Another is found in the Portulaca flower, which can distinguish between solar rays and reflected light and basically evaluates red and blue particles.
With regard to the sense of hearing, we refer to a report by Paula Goddard from 2007 entitled "Vine may love Vivaldi" and not because plants have ears, but because their cells have a membrane even more sensitive than human hearing.
The biologist Stefano Mancuso sounds the wine in some fields in Tuscany, stating that the vines especially like the compositions of Mozart, because the result of this sound gives a larger fruit with a sweeter flavor, and if that were not enough found that insects attack and damage less the sound vines.
The frequency of the tones is also known to influence growth, although there are scientists who do not share any of this. And to the question of whether plants have a kind of sense of taste, the answer is yes.
In addition, it could be said that they are foodies, because when they "taste" the minerals they need, the roots grow just in that direction. And with regard to the sense of smell, it has been found that, for example, when the corn plant is attacked by beetle larvae, it produces a poison that spreads around it, with which the rest of the plants know immediately of the presence of these enemies, thereby activating the production of their own poison, an unquestionable highly developed social coexistence.
At present there is a scientific specialty called Chemical Ecology, which deals with the behavior of plants before the attack of parasites. If, for example, scientists take as a model the wild tobacco plant, which generates the neurotoxin nicotine, they will see that the plant increases this production when it notices that an animal gnaws its leaves.
At that moment an authentic cataract of signals is produced, that is, a continuous signal that spreads throughout the leaf, releasing a chemical messenger, the so-called jasmonic acid, which comes from the leaf that is being gnawed to the root, with which that then it can be said that the production of nicotine is stimulated.
The tobacco plant does not produce nicotine so that humans can make cigarettes, but in fact it is a protection against being eaten, since any attacker after eating the plant will feel dizzy from the nicotine.
However, as might be expected, for the tobacco worm, nicotine is not poisonous, on the contrary, the fact of accumulating it in its body is for said animal a form of defense, because after ingestion it becomes an inedible worm.
But the most surprising thing is that when the tobacco plant recognizes the enemy of the caterpillar, which it achieves by means of certain biochemical molecules, it reacts in a very intelligent way, since it reduces the production of nicotine so that the enemies of the caterpillars, determined reduced, have a chance to attack them.
In fact, tobacco grass also emits certain aromatic substances, attraction molecules, with which they attract the redúvids.
On this last topic we reproduce the quote of the biologist Martin Heil, a researcher at the German University of Essen, who says the following: «This active way of attracting the enemies of my enemies in the world of plants does not seem to be a case at all. isolated, but the general rule.
Wherever we look, we can find it, even among the most diverse types of plants.