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A roadmap towards a functional paradigm for learning & memory in plants

Michmizos, Dimitrios, Hilioti, Zoe
Journal of plant physiology 2019 v.232 pp. 209-215
animal models, botanists, heat, neurons, plant physiology
In plants, the acquisition, processing and storage of empirical information can result in the modification of their behavior according to the nature of the stimulus, and yet this area of research remained relatively understudied until recently. As the body of evidence supporting the inclusion of plants among the higher organisms demonstrating the adaptations to accomplish these tasks keeps increasing, the resistance by traditional botanists and agricultural scientists, who were at first cautious in allowing the application of animal models onto plant physiology and development, subsides. However, the debate retains much of its heat, a good part of it originating from the controversial use of nervous system terms to describe plant processes. By focusing on the latest findings on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the well established processes of Learning and Memory, recognizing what has been accomplished and what remains to be explored, and without seeking to bootstrap neuronal characteristics where none are to be found, a roadmap guiding towards a comprehensive paradigm for Learning and Memory in plants begins to emerge. Meanwhile the applications of the new field of Plant Gnosophysiology look as promising as ever.