If you’re thinking about buying garlic, you might want to reconsider buying fresh from your supermarket.
A study from the University of Newcastle has found that the nervous system of garlic is far less developed than that of tomatoes, and its ability to self-heal is also lower than that that of sweet peppers.
The study found that there is a much lower number of cells in the nervous systems of garlic and tomatoes compared to cucumbers, peas and peppers, which has led some researchers to argue that garlic should be avoided.
But garlic is a highly versatile plant, with its native species containing dozens of other species and cultivars.
The researchers also found that garlic was more prone to infections than most other crops.
In particular, the garlic is highly sensitive to a number of bacterial infections and toxins, which is why it can be found in so many different forms in the food chain.
Dr Rebecca Smith, who led the study, said that the research shows that the main reason why garlic is so prone to bacterial infections is its ability in the first place to self heal.
“The more you have a healthy nervous system, the less likely it is to develop an infection, which makes it an ideal crop to grow in areas where there are many more opportunities for infections,” Dr Smith said.
“We’ve seen for example in some areas of Australia, where the wild garlic has been cultivated, where it’s been found to be more susceptible to infections.”
Dr Smith said that there was also some evidence to suggest that the immune system of the garlic was stronger than that in tomatoes, peas or peppers, meaning that the plant could self-preserve in times of stress.
“This suggests that the body of the plant is better able to cope with the stresses it is put under,” she said.
There are also other reasons why garlic might be a good choice to grow for food in some parts of Australia.
Dr Smith, from the Department of Horticulture, said the research showed that a plant’s nervous system was a key factor in how it grew.
“It’s not just the numbers of cells and what kind of cells they have, but also what they have developed in terms of their ability to recover and regenerate itself and their ability in general to adapt to environmental changes,” she added.
“There are some really interesting questions to be answered about the nature of the development of the nervous mechanisms of the world’s largest food crop.”
“We can now start to explore how these mechanisms develop, what they are telling us about the evolutionary process that is occurring in this food crop.”
Hopefully, we will get some answers to those questions.
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