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article imageBeethoven can help crops grow more quickly

By Chris V. Thangham     Sep 2, 2007 in Environment
South Korean researchers said some of the genes in the plants respond to Beethoven’s classical music, and say by making the genes either active or non active can help them grow or flower quickly.
Plants are known to respond to light, wind and soil nutrients. Today’s growers have modified the plants so much they can make a seasonal plant to flower all year long and provide fruits likewise. Some farmers have claimed previously including the Prince of Wales that they talk to the plants and the plants respond to them. South Korean researchers now say plants respond to music as well.
Mi-Jeong Jeong from the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Suwon, South Korea and his colleagues played some classical music including Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in rice fields. They claim to have identified genes in the plant that can “hear” or respond to music.
The researchers have published their findings in this week’s “New Scientist” magazine. They say this discovery will help the farmers to switch plant genes on and off making crops flower at certain times or grow more quickly.
Mi-Jeong Jeong and his colleagues played 14 different classical pieces to rice plants. They monitored gene expression in the plants - the process by which their DNA code is translated into instructions for biological processes such as growth.
The researchers found that at specific frequencies of the sound, between 125 Hertz and 250 Hertz, the genes rbcS and Ald in the plants become more active, whereas at 50 Hertz the genes are less active. Both these genes respond to light, the researchers repeated the experiment at night; the genes responded to sound and produced the same effect as it did during daytime.
The researchers thus conclude by this triggering of genes can make them produce chemicals, which could then be harnessed to activate other specific genes in the plant that will lead to flowering.
Other scientists are doubtful about these experiments; they say they need more data to confirm its findings.
Rolling Stone will add another category soon Top 10 hits of plants if the South Korean researchers confirm their theory beyond any reasonable doubt. But I don’t think the musicians will be happy to be in this list including Beethoven.
I had a neighbor she used to talk to her plants and claimed it helped them grow. She said they are living things just like us and used to care for them and I saw the plants grew real well. Whether it was because of her talking or whether she fed them well, I am not sure, but it grew fine. However, I didn’t try her method with my plants all I did gave them fertilizer and lots of water. Do you or know anyone do the same, talk to the plants?
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