Sentient Nature of Plants: Memory and Awareness

  • Sudhir SoporyEmail author
  • Tanushri Kaul


From the previous chapters in this volume, it is evident that plants have developed very subtle molecular mechanisms to perceive ever-changing environment and respond accordingly to ensure their proper development as engraved in their genome. Plants, thus able to sense and adaptively reciprocate to extraneous signals, anticipate inevitable threats and stresses via the elaborate intercellular systems especially the receptors, microtubules, organ-to-organ communications as well as communicating with both allies and enemies. The appropriate response by plants is needed not only for their own survival but also for reproduction, developing seeds and their dispersal for the continuation of the progeny. There are reports that some form of plant “memory” is used for rapid adaptability of plants to stress and strengthen their defence mechanisms. Exploration of this emerging avenue of research in plant sensory biology is becoming more ascribable with avant-garde breakthroughs via omics approach, high-throughput sequencing technologies and time-lapse as well as Kirlian photography. These new technological interventions would ensure unprecedented deciphering of the secret new-fangled mysteries of the plant world. In many ways, the sensory behaviour of plants seems to be similar to that noticed in the animal world. The question that we have also tried to discuss in this chapter is whether this “intelligent” response of plants falls into the domain of awareness or consciousness as has been proposed by some authors.


Action potential Anaesthetics Carnivorous plants Epigenetics Memory Mimosa Neurotransmitters Perception Prion-like domain proteins Stress Touch HKT1 transporter 



SKS is thankful to SERB (Govt of India) for providing the Distinguished Fellowship award.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyNew DelhiIndia

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