by Andrew Porterfield
Chili pepper plants, Capsicum annuum,
communicate with basil plants via sound waves
Plants are known to communicate with
each other via shade, aromatic chemicals, and physical touch,
promoting processes such as growth and defense against disease, as
well as attraction of bees and other pollinators.
The team planted common chili pepper
annuum, pictured above) near a basil plant, with barriers that
prevented the basil from deploying its usual growth-promoting
Because light, touch, and chemical
"smell" were ruled out, the team proposes that the finding points to
a new type of communication between plants, possibly involving
nanoscale sound waves, traveling through the dirt to bring
encouraging "words" to the growing seeds.