Touch Press Fig (IMAGE) Rice University Caption Plant growth is affected by touch. Arabidopsis plants that were touched several times each day (right) grew shorter stems than those that were untouched (left). Rice University biologists found that this growth response is controlled by a plant hormone that protects plants from insects and fungal infections. Credit Wassim Chehab/Rice University Usage Restrictions Credit required License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.