How do plants control, assess, remember, and transmit information from the environment without brains or nerves?

About this area of study

Homing in on the essence of an environmental response control system unique to plants

In contrast to mobile animals, which can seek environments suitable for survival, immobile plants must use their flexible and efficient environmental response systems in order to respond rapidly to a variety of environmental changes. However, it remains unclear how plants control, assess, remember, and transmit information from the environment without brains or nerves.

This area of study seeks answers to profound and longstanding biological questions. Plants have evolved an autonomous, distributed environmental response control system that controls incoming signals via a systemic information transmission system, while carrying out autonomous environmental responses by distributing control to groups of cells and tissues. Our objective is to understand the mechanisms of plastic growth in response to the environment that are unique to plants. To this end, we seek to elucidate the long-distance signal transduction system ? which is completely different from those of animals ? that constitutes the local and autonomous environmental response system. Additionally, elucidation of the environmental memory system, which involves spatiotemporal caching of information via chromatin modifications, will be important for understanding plastic growth.


A study by the Matsubayashi group was published in Nature Commun.
International Conference on Frontiers in plant environmental response research was held at Higashiyama Campus, Nagoya University from November 18 to 19, 2019.
Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference on Plant Cell and Development Biology was held at Hwabaek International Convention Center (HICO), Gyeongju, South Korea from November 3 to 7, 2019.
A study by the Sugimoto group was published in Commun. Biol.
The Research Results pages were updated.
The 5th meeting of Young Scientists for Integrative system of autonomous environmental signal recognition and memorization for plant plasticity was held at Gotemba Kogen Resort (TOKI NO SUMIKA), Shizuoka from September 25 to 27, 2019.
A study by the Shirasu group was published in Curr. Biol.
A study by the Kinoshita group was published in Sci. Rep.
The 3rd International Symposium on Plant Nuclear Dynamics was held at Tokyo University of Science.
The Research Results pages were updated.