Wednesday, September 22, 2010

“Talking” Plants

talking plants, cartoon plant, funny plants, green plants
Researchers at the Institute for Applied Physics at the University of Bonn, Germany, have developed laser-driven microphones that can “listen” to plants. The microphones pick up sound waves produced by ethylene gas, which is given off by plants when they are under stress. Bonn University scientist Dr. Frank Kühnemann says: “The more a plant is subjected to stress, the louder the signal we get on our microphone.”

In one case an apparently healthy cucumber “was virtually shouting,” according to readings. “A closer study showed that it had developed mildew, yet the symptoms were not visible.” In fact, mildew takes eight or nine days to form visible spots, and only then can farmers detect the problem. “By eavesdropping on plants,” says The Times of London, “it should be possible to develop an early-warning system to detect pests and disease. Knowing the stress level of fruit and vegetables can also be an aid in efficient storing and transporting.”

2 comments:

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

This is very similar to research that was done in the 1970s, but was pooh-poohed then.

James Alexander said...

Here is an up-date and thanks for bringing my attention to this sort of work

http://conversations-on-innovations.blogspot.com/2010/09/plants-scream-posted-on-unexplained.html

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