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Plants use glutamate, like mammals, to speed nervous system transmission

Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) in bloom
Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)

Researchers: Yes, plants have nervous systems too:

Plants turn out not only to have nervous systems but nervous systems that are analogous to those of animals. Recently, a research team observed the outcome of wounding a plant called Arabidopsis thaliana, a mustard often used in experiments. The really remarkable part of this apparent convergent evolution of animals and plants is that “these channels are activated by extracellular glutamate, a well-known mammalian neurotransmitter”

Of course, insects find a way around the communications among plant nervous systems. One insect, for example, gets plants to transmit false information to other plants. … Mind Matters at

See also: Can plants be as smart as animals? Seeking to thrive and grow, plants communicate extensively, without a mind or a brain


Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible? Using glutamate as a neurotransmitter is an example of convergence between mammals and plants.

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