Watch | How wounded plants heal

Plants are often injured by pathogens, herbivores or unfavourable weather conditions. Their sessile lifestyle makes them vulnerable to such situations more often.

 But, have you ever wondered how wounded plants heal? An international team of researchers have been studying this process for over ten years and have found some answers.

1. Ability to repair

Plants contain a protein named Plethora which helps in the regeneration process. It also binds and activates the expression of another gene called CUC2. Together, plethora and CUC2 help increase the production of a plant growth hormone called auxin at the wound site. The protein-hormone combination thus improves the plant's ability to repair wounds.

2. Regenerating veins

Researchers noted that the injury healed not just at the surface but the veins regenerated too. Vein regeneration is crucial for the transport of food, hormone and water. Any disruption after an injury will hinder the plant's growth.

Another interesting find was that these proteins do not play any role in the general development of plants vascular system, but stepped into action only during the time of injury. Researchers also found out that the nature of repair changes as the size of the wound changes.

They also noted that the size of the injury determines whether the plant will be able to heal or not.

Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:45:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/how-wounded-plants-heal/article31080926.ece

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