Scientists know that plants emit chemicals into the soil to communicate information to other plants. These chemical messages, sent through fungal networks, may warn plants to defend against threats in their environment or to stop encroaching on another plant’s space.
Scientists such as Jonathan Morris and Kathryn Morris of Xavier University are seeking to learn more about how the fungal networks function as communication channels. In addition to conducting experiments with plants at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the married researchers are using the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) to develop simulations of how the chemicals move through the soil.
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