LISTENING TO THE LANGUAGE OF PLANTS
Although electrical phenomena in plants have been investigated for many years it still surprises most people that plants do, in fact, have an internal, ‘non-neural’ electrical communication network.
A key reason why electrical signals in plants have not made much impact outside the laboratory is because they could only be easily measured in a small number of ‘sensitive’ plants with unique physical responses – like the Venus Flytrap or Mimosa Pudica. Even for these plants the signals are sufficiently small to require expensive equipment and, most often laboratory conditions to shield the plant from external electrical noise.
These electrical signals are not just of scientific interest, they have great practical value as well. They can show, for example, when a plant is stressed. There are important differences in the electrical signals emitted by a plant when it is growing vitally and when a plant switches to defence mode for instance, if a leaf is attacked by an insect. These changes in plant biosignals are evident almost immediately after a change of conditions thereby providing much faster feedback to plant professionals on the state of their plants. Electrical signals are now also known to be reliable indicators of water and salt stress which can help growers in controlled conditions ensure irrigation and nutrigation systems are functioning correctly.
Advances in electronics and computing power now offer the possibility that electrical signals in all plants can be detected using lower-cost equipment and in natural conditions. Vivent, the bio-signal specialists have designed a range of low-cost devices that do just that. Vivent’s Phytl Signs products enable researchers, plant professionals and plant lovers to listen in real time to the electrical signalling of their plants – and use this information to gain unique insights into their plant’s health.
The “Internet of Plants” has existed nearly as long as plants themselves. Now we can tap into the data being sent and received by plants to gain unique insights into their world and ours.
Phytl Signs Researcher
Designed to allow researchers to capture bio-signals in plants at lower cost, for longer periods and in a wide range of environments, without the need for a Faraday cage.
Phytl Signs Professional
Designed to allow professional growers, from farmers to horticulturists to receive immediate feedback on their plants’ responses to the environment. Understand your plants even better and optimize growing conditions to increase plant quality and yield.