British scientists have created a new tool that has brought the world one step closer to being able to communicate with plants, according to reports The Independent.
A research team at the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge (SLCU) conducted successful experiments in which they were able to activate defense mechanisms in tobacco plants through photostimulation.
The study’s lead researcher, Alexander Jones, believes that if the technology can be developed further, it could lead to more efficient and sustainable farming methods.
– If we could warn plants of disease outbreaks or pest attacks, plants could activate their natural defense mechanisms to prevent widespread damage, says Alexander Jones, The Independent.
-We can also warn plants of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves or drought, so they can adapt their growth patterns or conserve water.
A new tool has been developed
In the study, published in the journal Plos Biology, the researchers describe how they developed a light-control technology specifically designed for plants.
Through a tool called a highlighter, they can activate specific genes in plants. According to the researchers, it is a cheap and non-toxic way to try to influence plants, and according to their research, it should also be possible to remember the signals.
In the future, they hope to be able to develop techniques to create the most accurate signals possible.
– In the future, for example, we could use a certain light to stimulate an immune response, and then another light to determine the exact time of a particular characteristic, such as flowering or maturity, says Alexander-Jones, according to The Independent.
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