TechNoise can accelerate mushroom growth, new scientific study reveals

Noise can accelerate mushroom growth, new scientific study reveals

boletus mushroom boletus mushrooms
boletus mushroom boletus mushrooms
Images source: © Pixabay | stux

3:33 AM EST, February 2, 2024, updated: 4:31 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Laboratory tests have revealed that mushrooms exposed to noise grow faster, states a report on the platform "bioRxiv".

In earlier research, scientists found that flourishing soils possess a distinct "soundscape", a compilation of sounds created by various invertebrates such as earthworms and ants. However, up to now, no studies have explored how the ambient sounds of an ecosystem affect plant and mushroom growth. Surprisingly, the mushrooms' growth appears to be significantly impacted by the level of surrounding noise.

Jake Robinson of Flinders University in Australia conducted a study to examine these effects. His team buried a soundproof box that contained bags of green and rooibos tea in the ground. Inside this box, they played sounds of 8-kilohertz frequency and 70-decibels intensity to one group of tea bags, and 90 decibels for another group. The sounds were played eight hours daily for two weeks. In contrast, the control group was exposed only to ambient sounds below 30 decibels.

At the experiment's conclusion, the scientists saw an increase in the weight of the tea bags exposed to sound. The weight increased, on average, from 2.5 grams (0.09 ounces) to 3.1 grams (0.11 ounces). The weight gain can be attributed to the growth of mushrooms. Meanwhile, the control bags maintained their initial weight.

In a second experiment, Robinson's team played a tone of 8-khz frequency and 80 dB intensity to Petri dishes containing the soil-dwelling fungus, Trichoderma harzianum, which fosters plant growth.

After five days, the samples that were exposed to the sound produced an average of 2.5 million spore cells per milliliter of culture fluid. The control samples yielded just slightly more than 540,000.

Robinson maintains that these experiments are the first of many. A comprehensive understanding of the observed phenomena needs more extensive study. He proposes that mushrooms might use the energy from sounds to boost their growth. The piezoelectric effect, which transforms mechanical pressure into electrical energy, could be central to this process.

Scientists suggest that harnessing this phenomenon could expedite processes like composting or restoring ecosystems in agriculture.

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