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Research Reveals That Plants "Scream" When They Are Stressed

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Isn’t it unexpected to learn about a torment plant crying loudly? Yes, recent researches have revealed that plants express their anxiety through sounds---An audible frequency that is far beyond the human’s earshot. This high-frequency research about plant noises was posted on Dec. 2 on the bioRxiv database.

Itzhak Khait, (a plant scientist at Tel Aviv University, Israel) teamed up with his coworkers to detect the sounds from plants. He installed microphone detectors that can catch ultrasonic frequencies. These microphones are placed at 4 inches (10 meters) distance from tobacco and tomato plants. The devices detect plant sounds. Some sounds are pretty usual. However, when these plants get deprived of water or when somebody chops their stems the noises the plants emit are distinct and different. 

According to the scientists, (within a frequency range of 20 to 150 kilohertz), the cut, tobacco plants produced around 15 sounds per hour of being cut, while cut tomato plants emitted 25 sounds. Water deficient tobacco plants which are deprived of water for up to ten days emitted around 11 squeals while droughty tomato plants released 35 squeals per hour.

This new study would become favourable for farmers. It will help farmers to listen to their thirsty plants and that would, in turn, help them in agriculture and predicting drought.

Anne Visscher, a fellow in the Department of Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the U.K. commented,

“The idea that "sounds that drought-stressed plants make could be used in precision agriculture seems feasible if it is not too costly to set up the recording in a field situation,"