Absolutely true.Man I was just reading somewhere about how plants communicate with each other through chemical signals sent through the the root zone as well as through the air. If a plant is being attacked, it will send a signal to alert the plants in the area. This alert will in turn cause the plants to exude certain foods that are known to attract specific bacteria, the same bacteria that fight off whatever infection is attacking the plant that is alerting the others.
Trippy shit that none of us really fully understand yet. Apparently mycorrhizae are also responsible for facilitating the communication through the underground network of roots.
As a dude who understands biochemistry--this is not really all that surprising to me.
It probably wasn't surprising to the researchers who found it--they went looking for this because the rest of biochemistry sort of predicts it.
There is SIGNIFICANT inter, intra, and extra cellular signaling that happens in an organism.
We have observed this in all matter of bacteria for instance. Have you ever noticed how a bacterial infection has a very sudden onset of symptoms?
It's because the colony doesn't turn on its "attack" until they have reached a certain prerequisite numbers (I won't get into how this works, but its also some pretty basic biochem crap).
This is all over the place in biology.
Did you see the article about roots "talking" to each other with clicks, Cap?
That one was kinda strange. In terms of this hive or "colony" behavior though, its not really surprising at all.
It's mostly thought, in fact, that any species that didn't have this hard-coded wouldn't have lived to see today. There is a real need for this innate "hive" preservation response for a species to succeed.
Parents defend their young, and so on. It takes many forms but its all the same.
The first bacteria in the body doesn't start going nuts and killing shit right away and eating away at flesh--it wants to reproduce and give its genes the best chance to move on. If it goes into full attack mode, and a macrophage kills it--then it just ended its whole line.
To preserve its species niche it waits until its numbers are very high and then flips the switch.
There may have been subspecies who flipped the switch too soon or too late that are no longer with us. Its thought that these hive defenses are VERY well adapted and it is necessary that they be so for species success.
Maybe we beat out neanderthals because they didn't really give too much of a shit about each other. Or didn't protect their young as voraciously.