Plant aspirin relief from stress

What’s a brother plant to do when it is stress out ?

It sends out more methyl salicylate a form of pain killer aspirin. Forest plants seem to need stress relief.

“A team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., discovered by accident plants in the wild emitting methyl salicylate. They set up instruments last year in a walnut grove near Davis, Calif., to monitor plant emissions of certain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs). VOCs emitted by plants can actually combine with industrial emissions and contribute to smog. Their emissions of VOCs their instruments recorded in the atmosphere included methyl salicylate.

What stresses a plant ?

Methyl salicylate emissions increased dramatically when the plants, already stressed by a local drought, experienced unseasonably cool nighttime temperatures followed by large temperature increases during the day.”

Methyl salicylate seem to stimulate an immune response in plants that help them resist and recover from disease, and acting as a form of chemical communication to warn neighbors of threats.This plant-to-plant communication occurs on the ecosystem level, plants have the ability to communicate through the atmosphere.” said study team member Alex Guenther. this plant warning system to detect disease, insect infestation, or other types of stress.
Excerpts from  Plants Make Own Painkillers – Andrea Thompson,  September 18, 2008

Image courtesy of wikepedia.


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