Sound perception in plants

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Can plants perceive sound? And what sounds are they likely to be “listening” to? The environment of plants includes many informative sounds, produced by biotic and abiotic sources. An ability to respond to these sounds could thus have a significant adaptive value for plants. We suggest the term phytoacoustics to describe the emerging field exploring sound emission and sound detection in plants, and review the recent studies published on these topics. We describe evidence of plant responses to sounds, varying from changes in gene expression to changes in pathogen resistance and nectar composition. The main focus of this review is the effect of airborne sounds on living plants. We also review work on sound emissions by plants, and plant morphological adaptations to sound. Finally, we discuss the ecological contexts where response to sound would be most advantageous to plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Airborne
  • Communication
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Phytoacoustics
  • Plant bioacoustics
  • Signaling
  • Sound
  • Sound waves
  • Spectrum
  • Vibration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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