One of the properties of all living beings is that they respond to stimuli.
Plants are multicellular organisms in the kingdom Plantae that use photosynthesis to make their own food.1 They respond to external stimuli, such as growing towards sources of water and light, which they need in order to survive. They do this because they have cell receptors which receive the stimuli and trigger biochemical processes which link reception and response.
In 1901, Jagadish Chandra Bose contributed to some pioneering studies in the field of plant research. He conducted various experiments on plants and also invented the crescograph, an instrument to measure the growth of plants and its response to stimuli. He measured the pulsation of plants and showed that if we pluck a leaf of a plant, then the pulsation of the plant stops at that spot, it starts again slowly and ultimately stops forever. Furthermore, he also concluded from his experiments the quivering of injured plants and thus formulated the hypothesis that plants are able to feel. His findings, Bose jotted down in his books Response in the Living and Non-living (1902), and the Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926).
Sound is the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of hearing by vibrations transmitted through the air or other medium2. Various researchers have studied the effect of sound on physiology and behaviour of animals and humans. For instance, a study3 has shown that white-throated sparrows exhibit similar neural activities as humans do when they listen to music. But, there are only limited studies about the effect of sound on the physiology and behaviour of plants.
The research article ‘The Effect of Sound on the Growth of Plants’ submitted by Margaret E. Collins and John E. K. Foreman from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, shows that plants (beans) exposed to a pure tone achieved more growth than exposed to noise. In their study, they proposed the correlation between the wavelength and leaf size as one potential explanation. Jagadish Chandra Bose also contributed to some pioneering research in plant physiology. With his own invention – the crescograph, a device to measure the growth of plants, he showed that plants
1 Definition from Biology Dictionary (https://biologydictionary.net/plant/)
3 Study conducted by then Emory graduate student Sarah Earp and neuroscientist Donna Maney