Effect of hydric stress-related acoustic emission on transcriptional and biochemical changes associated with a water deficit in Capsicum annuum L

Laura Helena Caicedo-Lopez, Ramon Gerardo Guevara-Gonzalez, Juan E. Andrade, Adolfo Esquivel-Delgado, Andrés Esteban Perez-Matzumoto, Irineo Torres-Pacheco, Luis Miguel Contreras-Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At specific vibration frequencies like ones generated by insects such as caterpillar chewing and bee's buzz-pollination turn on the plants secondary metabolism and their respective pathways gets activated. Thus, studies report that vibrations and sound waves applied to plants improves their fitness performance. Commonly, acoustic treatments for plants have used arbitrarily random frequencies. In this work, a group of signals obtained from hydric-stressed plants was recorded as vibrational patterns using a laser vibrometer. These vibration-signals were classified as representative of each condition and then externally applied as Acoustic Emission Patterns (AEP). The present research hypothesized that specific vibration frequencies could “emulate” a plant signal through mechanical energy based on tplant's ability to recognize vibration pattern similarity to a hydric status. This investigation aimed to apply the AEP's as characteristic vibrations classified as Low hydric stress (LHS), medium hydric stress (MHS), and high hydric stress (HHS) to evaluate their effect on healthy-well watered plants at two developmental stages. In the vegetative stage, the gene expression related to antioxidant and hydric stress responses was assessed. The LHS, MHS, and HHS acoustic treatments up-regulated the peroxidase (Pod) (~2.8, 1.9, and 3.6-fold change, respectively). The superoxide dismutase (Mn-sod) and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (Pal) genes were up-regulated by HHS (~0.23 and ~0.55-fold change, respectively) and, the chalcone synthase (Chs) gene was induced by MHS (~0.63-fold-change). At the fructification stage, the MHS treatment induced a significant increase in Capsaicin content (5.88-fold change), probably through the at3and kas gene activation. Findings are correlated for a better understanding of plant responses to different multi frequency-signals tones from vibrations with potential for agricultural applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-264
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Acoustic emission
  • Capsaicinoids
  • Gene transcription
  • Hydric stress
  • Physical elicitor
  • Plants stimulant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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