Dr. Ron Mittler and his research team at the University of Missouri are studying how plants defend themselves against stressors such as drought and heat. David Sparks AG Information Network. Speaker2: If you take a plant, then you wound or a pathogen is attacking one leaf only so that that leaf will start making reactive oxygen species. But then these reactive oxygen species will spread in what we call reactive oxygen species, the ROS wave as a wave front, and it will reach all parts of the plant and it will alert all parts of the plant that there is impending stress that could attack the rest of the plant and then the rest of the plant triggers a lot of defense mechanisms, change metabolism. So it will be ready for the stress. So, for example, if you give heat stress to one leaf or light stress or a pathogen, then the whole plant will become resistant to these stresses. You know, that's something that we were able to actually record happening. We were able to study, find out the different genes involved and so forth. Speaker1: Okay. The leaf alerts the plant and the plant then readies itself for whatever vector is coming in. Does the plant now become noticeably more resilient. Speaker2: To the stressor? Oh, yeah, yeah. We call it acclimation. The whole plant. We call it systemic acquired acclimation or systemic acquired resistance. Speaker1: So if you knew a stressor such as heat or drought was on the way, you could potentially warn the plant and let it get going on its own defense system. Brilliant.