Plant neurobiology and green plant intelligence: science, metaphors and nonsense

  title={Plant neurobiology and green plant intelligence: science, metaphors and nonsense},
  author={Paul C. Struik and Xinyou Yin and Holger Meinke},
  journal={Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture},
This paper analyses the recent debates on the emerging science of plant neurobiology, which claims that the individual green plant should be considered as an intelligent organism. Plant neurobiology tries to use elements from animal physiology as elegant metaphors to trigger the imagination in solving complex plant physiological elements of signalling, internal and external plant communication and whole-plant organisation. Plant neurobiology proposes useful concepts that stimulate discussions… 

Consciousness and cognition in plants.

The reader is invited to consider the idea that if consciousness boils down to some form of biological adaptation, the authors should not exclude a priori the possibility that plants have evolved their own phenomenal experience of the world.

At the Roots of Plant Neurobiology

This review traces historical aspects of the development of integrative plant electrophysiology and the methods that inform it, with a special emphasis on the work of Indian biophysicist Sir J.C. Bose, who proposed that plants and animals share essentially similar fundamental physiological mechanisms.

History and epistemology of plant behaviour: a pluralistic view?

The working hypothesis defended in this article consists in showing that the current opposition between growth, development and reductionist physiology on the one hand and the biology of behaviour involving sensitivity and choices in plant activity on the other hand has been built up through the history of botany.

Broadening the definition of a nervous system to better understand the evolution of plants and animals

It is claimed that a definition broader than the current one, which is based only on a phylogenetic viewpoint, would be helpful in obtaining a deeper understanding of how evolution has driven the features of signal generation, transmission and processing in multicellular beings.

Role of plant sensory perception in plant-animal interactions.

Recent research exploring the diverse ways in which plant sensory abilities mediate interactions between plants and animals, especially insects suggests that plants continually gather information about their environments via a range of sensory modalities and actively respond in ways that profoundly influence their interactions with other organisms.

QTL × E × M: combining crop physiology and genetics

Dissecting complex traits with low heritability into relatively simple component traits, which are less sensitive to environmental conditions, will assist breeders in making faster breeding progress.

The ‘root-brain’ hypothesis of Charles and Francis Darwin

Two important messages are discussed: first, that the root apex may be considered to be a ‘brain-like’ organ endowed with a sensitivity which controls its navigation through soil; second, thatThe root apex represents the anterior end of the plant body.

Molecular mechanisms underlying plant memory in JA-mediated defence responses.

This work considers how 'memories' of previous attacks could be created in the biosynthetic processes involved in the generation of the oxylipin bursts elicited by herbivore attacks, and the role of small RNAs in the formation of long-term stress imprints in plants.

Immunity in Light of Spinoza and Canguilhem

All living organisms are under stress imposed by their surrounding environments. They must adapt to their stressors to live and survive. At the forefront of this adaptation is a defense system called

Toward a systemic view for plant learning: an (eco)physiological perspective

A framework consisting in basic epistemological assumptions is offered, as well as a cognitive context that underpins the perspective of learning, based on some principles of systemic plant ecophysiology.



Green plants as intelligent organisms.

Plant neurobiology: no brain, no gain?

Aspects of plant intelligence.

To commence use of the term intelligence with regard to plant behaviour will lead to a better understanding of the complexity of plant signal transduction and the discrimination and sensitivity with which plants construct images of their environment, and raises critical questions concerning how plants compute responses at the whole-plant level.

Transgeneration memory of stress in plants

It is shown that in Arabidopsis thaliana plants treated with short-wavelength radiation or flagellin, somatic homologous recombination of a transgenic reporter is increased in the treated population and these increased levels of homologously recombination persist in the subsequent, untreated generations.

Is plant growth driven by sink regulation

It is argued that integrated, structural-functional models may be the only means to quantify complex traits, such as those governing adaptive morphology (phenotypic plasticity) and may be well suited to develop improved plant type concepts in silico.