metabolic regulation and immunity functions, and acting as communications agents that
responding to stimuli.
chain reactions throughout an entire plant…because everything is connected!
Over time, scientists have found that plant genetics can be affected by external stimuli.
While most botanists are familiar with the concept of adaptability from naturally occurring
stressors, comparatively little is known about the effects of electric field stimulation. As
shown in the diagram in Chapter 9, a large number of responses are genetic in nature, so
let's start by zooming in on the concept map, focusing on the items having to do with
The Effect of Electrical Stimulation on DNA
The way that electrical stimulation affects plant genetics is in the way that genes express
themselves. Gene expression , as defined online, is the “conversion of the information
encoded in a gene first into messenger RNA and then to a protein.”
As we covered in the previous chapter, electrical stimulation affects the way signaling
messages are emitted by cells. The responses that can be realized differ depending upon
the “signature,” or the specific messaging characteristics that are inherent in the messages.
By tweaking the amplitude, frequency, timing, duration and other characteristics, different
effects may be seen. Thus, depending upon the information transmitted within the
signature, different biological components, or in this case, different protein structures can
be affected. With the potentially enormous effects that are possible, many of the above
benefits could be realized.
Below is a high-level diagram depicting the protein synthesis and their role plant biology.
![How DNA Becomes Protein and Subsequently into Plant Parts(images/
Source: Based on Zina Deretsky / National Science Foundation via dana-farber.org
For a great visual of the many forms that protein can take, check out the Protein Data Bank