Information processing is key for plant survival. Plants need to adapt to a changing environment and they do so by changing their development in response to various stimuli. To transmit information to distal parts of the plant they use a variety of signals. After an introduction on communication and electrical signal transmission in plants, I will focus on recent results relating to long-distance calcium waves and a form of signal known as variation potentials. I will demonstrate how simple mathematical models have allowed us to evaluate different hypotheses and put forward new ideas for the underlying mechanisms. These models and mechanisms provide new insights into how information is transmitted throughout the plant.
A ROS-assisted calcium wave dependent on the AtRBOHD NADPH oxidase and TPC1 cation channel propagates the systemic response to salt stress. MJ Evans, W G Choi, S Gilroy, RJ Morris. Plant Physiology 171 (3), 2016, 1771-1784
Chemical agents transported by xylem mass flow propagate variation potentials. MJ Evans, RJ Morris. The Plant Journal 91 (6), 2017, 1029-1037
Shear-enhanced dispersion of a wound substance as a candidate mechanism for variation potential transmission. M Blyth, RJ Morris. Frontiers in Plant Science 10, 2019, 1393