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Plants can "squeak": scientists have made a sensational discovery about ultrasound

Yulia PoteriankoNews
During the study, plants were studied using ultra-sensitive microphones

For a long time, plants have been considered organisms that can express stress only through signs such as deterioration, vibrations, emission of volatile compounds, or electrical signals. However, as researchers from Tel Aviv University have found, in fact, representatives of the plant kingdom are also able to "talk" - to make sounds that signal certain problems, and even have a differentiation of these sounds.

The scientists published their findings in the journal Cell. According to them, plants emit sounds in the ultrasonic range. They can be detected at a distance - a machine learning algorithm was used to do this during the study. It turned out that different signals were used to indicate stress from drought or mechanical damage, etc.

To establish this, the scientists used two sensitive microphones capable of picking up ultrasound in the range of 20-150 kilohertz. The experimental plants were tomatoes and tobacco. They were placed in acoustically isolated chambers, and either not watered for a long time, causing drought stress, or damaged by cutting the stem. No manipulations were performed on the control group.

As a result, we were able to record different types of sounds that depended on the condition of the plant. Thus, those organisms that were exposed to unfavorable conditions emitted more ultrasonic signals than those in the control group. The algorithm then analyzed these signals and learned to distinguish between them.

Scientists say that their discovery could have a significant impact on the development of agriculture and the environment. For example, drought can be detected earlier - at the stage when plants are just starting to make sounds, rather than getting sick and dying, which has a bad effect on the harvest. In addition, this should help ecologists study various processes and phenomena in different ecosystems, from large forests to farmland.

In the future, the researchers plan to study the mechanism of ultrasonic signals in plants. And also to learn more about the functional role of these sounds in different situations. In this way, they hope to better understand the interaction of the plant world with the environment. This can help develop new methods to increase yields and preserve the environment.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL talked about the discovery of scientists about mountain forests, which could threaten all of humanity.

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