Opinion: Plants neither possess nor require consciousness (TIPS)

Don’t miss this opinion article by Taiz et al, which tries to close the door on the eternal question of how to describe and label the ability of plants to perceive and respond to their environment. Are plants intelligent? Can they learn? Do they have consciousness? The article draws on recent studies of animal neuroscience and brain structures to try to define the minimum standard for consciousness. They also review and deconstruct recent studies that have been interpreted to suggest that plants experience pain and are capable of associative learning, and they critique the trend to anthropomorphize plants. Given the popularity of such views, and the opportunity they provide for discussion, this is an intriguing paper to share with students.  (Summary by Mary Williams, image from Wikimedia Commons). Trends Plant Sci. 10.1016/j.tplants.2019.05.008