Dr. Rainer Stahlberg has focused on long-distance signaling in sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.). These rather normal plants have been found to use both action potentials and slow wave potentials as distinct electric signals for their long-distance communication. Not very well understood are the natural conditions which cause the plants to generate these signals and also unknown is how they decipher and act upon these signals (Stahlberg 2006; Stahlberg et al. 2006).
This work has led us to join the Society of Plant Signaling and Behavior where wide-ranging discussions of how plants perceive their surroundings, and ‘behave’ in response are creating excitement about plant physiology, signaling, and organismal function.