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Plants Scream??


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#1    Althalus

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 12:11 AM

TREAD softly in the garden and pluck that rose with care: flowers cry when cut, cucumbers squeal and even healthy fruit gurgles according to new acoustic research on the stressful life of plants.
The findings, released by the Institute for Applied Physics at the University of Bonn, could have important implications for farmers since, with the proper eavesdropping device, one can now distinguish between healthy and sick vegetables. Talking to plants, it seems, is not as rewarding as listening to them.

The Bonn scientists have developed laser-driven microphones that pick up sounds inaccessible to the human ear. When a leaf or a stem is sliced, the plant signals pain (or perhaps merely dismay) by releasing the gas ethylene over its entire surface.

Doctor Frank Kühnemann of Bonn University has been trapping the ethylene in a bell jar. The gas molecules are later bombarded with calibrated laser beams, which makes them vibrate. This produces a soundwave picked up by the microphones. “The more a plant is subjected to stress, the louder the signal we get on our microphone,” he said.

The Bonn scientists have tested a range of plants, always in rooms with controlled temperatures and simulated natural light. But they were most surprised by the reaction of the cucumber. The vegetable appeared to be in good shape, yet according to the acoustic measurements it was virtually shouting with agony.

A closer study showed that it had developed mildew, yet the symptoms were not visible. This finding is likely to make an impact on agriculture. “We can detect an infection the day after it has set in,” said Dr Kühnemann’s colleague Ralph Gaebler. “Farmers, looking at their plant in the field, have to wait eight or nine days until the mildew spots have visibly broken out before they notice the problem,” he said in an interview with Deutsche Welle radio station.

By eavesdropping on plants 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. Acoustical evidence demonstrates that apples emit higher levels of ethylene, which causes neighbouring plants to wilt. As a result, the scientists urged fruit producers to store apples separately.

When ripe fruit is packed with unripe, a substantial amount of fruit often ends up rotting even when the shipments are separated by type. The scientists in Bonn have solved this mystery: differences in ripeness are often invisible, but can be detected acoustically in the form of ethylene. It should therefore be sufficient to measure fruit with laser microphones to separate it into batches of appropriate ripeness before loading it on to ships and trucks.

Wolfgang Praetorius, managing director of the German fruit importing company Fruchthansa, agreed. “If the relative ripeness of fruit can be worked out beforehand, it can be intelligently separated. Then we would know which batches to ship together and how long they would stay fresh.”

But the Bonn University team believes plants do more than chatter about aches and pains as if passing time in a doctor’s waiting room. The team also thinks plants warn each other about approaching danger. The “alarm signal” is a chemical message transmitted between individual plants: this too can be measured by the new equipment.

"We make choices everyday, some of them good, some of them bad. And - if we are strong enough - we live with the consequences."
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#2    bogs

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 05:35 PM

thats not all. plants can also take a liking to a person. tests have also shown, that when a person, say a gardener enters a room of plants that he/she has been taking care of the stress level of the plants reduces. but if someone else were to enter the room that is always breaking off peices of the plant, the stress increases.





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#3    SpaceyKC

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 09:37 PM

     Great find,  AL!!   I remember the post telling how they were able to get music from plants,  but this new finding will help in so many ways!!   :s1
      Must remember to keep my apples away from my peaches!   ;D

     By the way,  welcome to the board, BOGS!   :st

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#4    bogs

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Posted 26 June 2002 - 03:14 AM

thanks spacey  8)

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#5    azazel

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 11:55 PM

It all made sense once I read the article. Ethylene is also used to mature fruits and veggies. So if a plant stem or leaf is cut off or subjected to stress it reacts by emitting ethylene to mature or heal its 'wound'  :st

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#6    GTbiker

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 06:19 AM

This whole thing about plants feeling stress and all is very new for me. So basically your saying if I bite into an apple or any fruit or veggie will it still emit a stress signal? Or is it only when I rip it off a tree?  ???


#7    Althalus

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 02:12 PM

Only if you rip it off a tree

"We make choices everyday, some of them good, some of them bad. And - if we are strong enough - we live with the consequences."
— David Gemmell

#8    Novo

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 01:27 AM

GAHHH!!! Just give me more moral issues.. what exactly am I supposed to eat if plants feel pain to? GAHHHHH... rofl...

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#9    BabyBash82

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 05:59 AM

Kind of funny that someone wouldn't eat meat because it's cruel, but I suppose if plants feel pain, and cry, and can take likings to people, that eating vegetables is not cruel.  Kind of hypocritical, so, I think that you guys need to think about it.


#10    Novo

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (nicksoslick @ May 5 2004, 06:59 AM)
Kind of funny that someone wouldn't eat meat because it's cruel, but I suppose if plants feel pain, and cry, and can take likings to people, that eating vegetables is not cruel.  Kind of hypocritical, so, I think that you guys need to think about it.

Im not quite sure what your trying to say... umm I Dont eat meat  

The stupider people think you are, the more suprised they are when you kill them.
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History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
-Martin Luthur king Jr, activist


Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
- Martin luthur King Jr., activist

#11    KayEl

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 12:56 AM

I guess the only thing we can eat is fruits, since fruits ARE supposed to be seperated from a plant.....

A pretty dismal prospect....

But perhaps we will stop having so much FAT people here in the US....


#12    Novo

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 01:04 AM

QUOTE (KayEl @ May 6 2004, 01:56 AM)
I guess the only thing we can eat is fruits, since fruits ARE supposed to be seperated from a plant.....

A pretty dismal prospect....

But perhaps we will stop having so much FAT people here in the US....

most people in the us eat meat.. and it has been known for.. well About forever that Animals could feel.. do you really expect them to stop eating plants for that reason?

The stupider people think you are, the more suprised they are when you kill them.
- Unknown


History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
-Martin Luthur king Jr, activist


Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
- Martin luthur King Jr., activist

#13    BabyBash82

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 04:03 AM

No, but I think that vegeterians are hypocrites.


#14    bathory

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 09:29 AM

now vegetarians will have to die out:)


#15    Aslan

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 09:54 AM

Moderators can be vegetarians too, you know. devil.gif

Stay on topic please. No bashing of my brethren.





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