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"Куда идет мир? Каково будущее науки? Как "объять необъятное", получая образование - высшее, среднее, начальное? Как преодолеть "пропасть двух культур" - естественнонаучной и гуманитарной? Как создать и вырастить научную школу? Какова структура нашего познания? Как управлять риском? Можно ли с единой точки зрения взглянуть на проблемы математики и экономики, физики и психологии, компьютерных наук и географии, техники и философии?"

Alexander V. Oleskin, Cao Boyang

Table 2. Concentrations (means ± standard deviations) of the neurochemicals serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine, 5-HT), epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), the catecholamine precursor 2,3-dihydrophenylalanine (DOPA), and 3-methyltryptamine (3-MT). The neurochemicals were detected in the total fraction obtained by disintegrating plant leaves. All concentrations are expressed in micromoles per 1 kg of wet biomass.








Plumeria rubra L. cv. acutifolia







Syzigium jambos (L.) Alston







Buxus megistophylla







Cinnamomum bodinieri Levl.







The data obtained indicate that biogenic amine concentrations in the plant leaf samples exceed those in many other biological systems. For instance, human blood is known to contain 0.5-1.5 micromole/L (
M) serotonin (Henry, 2011), 0.001-0.01 M dopamine (in the free form; human blood also contains ~0.2-0.3 μM sulfoconjugated dopamine) and about 0.1 μM norepinephrine (Eldrup et al., 2004; Dubynin et al., 2010). Therefore, the biogenic amine concentrations detected by us in the plant leaves are physiologically significant, and the neurochemicals are expected to perform important functions in terms of interactivity: (i) among cells within a plant organism: (ii) between plant cells and the microbiota that overgrows the plant leaf surface and/or enters the leaf interior.

These findings are also of practical interest, since some of the tested tropical plants are used as medicines and/or as food. Their consumers should experience the neurochemical effects of the neuroactive substances they contain (discussed in the Conclusion section below).

3.2. Studies on the effects of exogenous neurochemicals on the growth and chlorophyll fluorescence in the green alga Scenedesmus

The growth dynamics of Scenedesmus cultures cultivated in the presence of the biogenic amines dopamine, histamine, and serotonin, or without them (control) are shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Growth dynamics of Scenedesmus cultures (calculated as cell numbers per 1 mLx10-7) cultivated with or without (control) the biogenic amines dopamine, histamine, and serotonin

Days of cultivation


100 M dopamine

100 M histamine

100 M serotonin

0 (inoculation)



































These data demonstrate that all the neurochemicals produce a growth-stimulating effect that is especially strong with dopamine. This effect is similar to that exerted by these neurochemicals on microbial systems as exemplified by Escherichia coli where, however, histamine is the most efficient growth stimulator among the tested amines (Anuchin et al. 2008).Histamine and serotonin accelerate the culture death phase that is evidenced by the data on days 12 and 14 of cultivation.

Table 4 sums up the data obtained on the chlorophyll fluorescence yield with dopamine, histamine, and serotonin as well as without the neurochemicals. It is evident that dopamine and serotonin, but not histamine decrease chlorophyll fluorescence, indicative of an increased share of light energy being used for the process of photosynthesis.


The present work addresses one of the pivotal subfields of modern-day biopolitics. This subfield is focused on environmental protection. More specifically, this world concentrates on protecting the plant world in the face of human society-caused environment-endangering phenomena such as pollution, radioactive fallout, deforestation, and others. Human society and the plant world actually represent two global interconnected and interdependent network structure that currently face the choice of either harmonizing their interaction and forming one overarching biopolitical network – or precipitating a disastrous global ecological crisis, a climacteric that neither the plants nor the humans will survive.

At different organizational levels ranging from single cells to plant tissues and organs, plant organisms, and whole plant communites and ecosystems, decentralized distributed network structures are established. These naturally forming networks can be based on a number of different structural patterns. In this work, I have singled out the main organizational paradigms that apply both to plant networks and to human society, including the cellular, rhizome-type, modular, equipotential, and eusocial paradigm. I demonstrate the applicability of all these paradigms to networked organizations and teams dealing with environmental protection.

Different specific environmental problems and tasks require the use of different network paradigms. For instance, the cellular paradigm applies to creative teams of environmental enthusiasts who, during “personality-merging” brain-storming sessions and role-playing games can design detailed instructions for ‘green” businesspeople and the regulators that supervise their activities.

Drawing on the rhizome-type paradigm, we can develop organizational scenarios for creative teams, or “think tanks”, that work on a complex multi-stage project. This is exemplified by the project entitled Replacing Petrochemicals with Environment-Friendly Bio-Fuel.

Likewise, the modular paradigm could be advertized as a suitable organizational pattern of classroom creative teams. Each of such teams is to be considered a semi-autonomous module within the framework of a higher-order network that includes all students in the classroom.

A promising organizational scenario for environmental associations is based on the equipotential paradigm that is often exploited by living nature, with respect both to fish schools and same-species plant groups. Although actually being used in environmental networks such as the Socio-Ecological Union in Russia, the equipotential paradigm should inspire the developers of new active environmental networks in various parts of the planet. Specifically, I have in mind present-day China, where invaluable plant resources, as exemplified by mountain forests around the Shenzhen–Hong-Kong conurbation, are in need of being urgently protected from detrimental factors caused by modern technology.

In terms of the eusocial paradigm, prompt data collection and analysis could probably be best performed by temporary hierarchical teams (with team leaders) that will be embedded in the matrix of a higher-order horizontal network that has the potential to carry out large-scale projects.

Combined organizational paradigms like the scenario developed by me and illustrated in Fig. 3 could enable us to tackle the whole spectrum of issues related to plant resource protection and to help present-day China face its pressing environmental challenges.

This work also deals with some of the communication signals that are widely used to coordinate the activities of network nodes (cells, organisms, and their groups) in living nature, including plants and their associations. The specific signals addressed in this project are biogenic amines. In agreement with earlier work on plant neurochemicals (Roschina, 1991, 2010; Oleskin and Shenderov, 2018), we established that the leaves (the total fraction) of a number of heretofore unexplored tropical plants, including those used in drug preparations (P. rubra and S. jambos) and as desserts (S. jambos) and spices (C. bodinieri)contain physiologically active concentrations of the neurochemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

These substances are known to stimulate growth and regulate a wide variety of physiological processes in diverse microbial species, including the bacterium Pseudomonas aeroginosa and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (reviewed, Lyte, 2014, 2016; Oleskin et al., 2016; Oleskin and Shenderov, 2018). For example, the important neurotransmitter serotonin also behaves as the signal of the lasIR quorum sensing system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It increases virulence and stimulates biofilm formation (Knecht et al., 2016).

Therefore, it was of much interest to attempt to evaluate the effects of neurochemicals on plant unicellular systems that belong to the lowest of interaction levels in our aforementioned classification and bear much similarity to the microbial systems that were studied in the literature with respect to the impact of neurochemicals on them. As mentioned in the Results section (3.2) above, my findings suggest that the biogenic amines dopamine, histamine, and serotonin exert a growth-promoting influence on the green unicellular alga Scenedesmus that is especially significant with dopamine. These data can be interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that Scendesmus cells contain specific biogenic amines-binding receptors, in an analogy to many bacterial species whose responses to neurochemicals are considered in terms of quorum-sensing communication (Clarke et al., 2006; Bansal et al., 2007). It is assumed in the literature that, e.g., dopamine and other catecholamines operate as analogs of quorum-sensing signals, as exemplified by AI-3 that is chemically related to catecholamines (Clarke et al., 2006; Bansal et al., 2007).

The data obtained in this work also provide evidence that dopamine and serotonin, but not histamine decrease chlorophyll fluorescence in the tested Scendesmus cells. Fluorescence is regarded as a “parasitic” process competing for light quanta with the photosynthetic chain. Therefore, the decrease in fluorescence yield signifies that, upon light excitation, chlorophyll more efficiently transfers electrons to pheophytin and, thereupon, to further electron transfer chain components in the presence of dopamine or serotonin.

In light of my own findings in conjunction with relevant recent literature data, the neurochemicals should play an important role in the ecological interaction between the plants and the microorganisms that overgrow their leaves and other parts. Studies on this plant-microbial interactivity could constitute the subject of another research project.

Besides, to re-iterate, the neurochemicals are expected to produce a significant effect on the people who consume preparations and food additives made from the aforementioned plants. These important neurochemicals regulate brain processes involved in locomotion, affection, sociable and dominant behavior, as well as aggression (Oleskin et al., 2010). By affecting human social behavior, the aforementioned plant materials are to be considered within the scope of the biobehavoral subfield of biopolitics. Morever, such plant preparations can potentially serve as behavior-modifying drugs for the purpose of intentionally manipulating human behavior.


The following summarizes the results of the Master Degee project:

  1. Two types of literature: (a) on decentralized network structures formed by plant cells, plant tissues, whole plant organisms, and their communities; and (b) on decentralized networked organizations in human society were compared in terms of the project, which enabled singling out the main interdisciplinary network paradigms (the cellular, rhizome-type, modular, equipotental, and eusocial paradigm) that straddle the boundary between biological systems and human society

  2. On this basis, specific recommendations were made concerning efficient organization scenarios of networked bodies dealing with the biopolitical task of plant resource protection; a combined pilot organizational proposal was elaborated for a multi-level network facing the whole spectrum of environmental problems and issues

  3. The tropical medicinal and/or food plant species Plumeria rubra L. cv. acutifolia, Syzigium jambos (L.) Alston, Buxus megistophylla (or Euonymus japonicas cv. aureoma), and Cinnamomum bodinieri Levl. were established, using HPLC with amperometric detection, to contain physiologically significant concentrations of the neuroactive amines serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

  4. The biogenic amines dopamine, histamine, and serotonin exert a growth-promoting influence on the green unicellular alga Scenedesmus that is especially significant with dopamine (100 M).

  5. Dopamine and serotonin, but not histamine decrease chlorophyll fluorescence in the tested Scendesmus cells, indicating that an increased share of light energy is used for the process of photosynthesis in the presence of the neurochemicals.


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