Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
be found, I propose that the effects are well substantiated by a scientific understanding of
the principles described in the preceding chapters.
Aspreviouslydescribed,theflowofsapcanbemanipulated throughelectrical stimulation.
This suggests that as long as the sap is still in a liquid state, that freezing at moderately
cold temperatures could be thwarted. Aside from the movement of sap, remember that due
to the propagation of action potentials and calcium-mediated chemical signals the entire
plant operates at a much higher metabolic rate. This increase could help the plant with
compensating against the slowing effect that cold weather has on the rate of intra-cellular
fluid flow and the slowing of biochemical reactions.
Technically, many plants have inbred genetic traits that help with surviving freezing
temperatures. Mechanisms include processes that can bring about changes to cellular
structure, stabilizing cell membranes against freeze-induced injury 10 . Similar to the way
cell membranes can become more flexible so they can stretch and grow larger while
holding greater amounts of water, the same holds true the other way, with genes that may
be available for helping bolster cell walls against breakage under cold-stress. Furthermore,
the basics still apply: faster metabolic activity helps with compensating against the cold
weather slowing of plants' biochemical reactions 11 .
ripening times and engineered resistance against early frosts, major financial benefits that
may be attained.
Drought Protection
For those who live in arid climates, or even temperate environments that experience large
shifts in their water cycle, drought can be a major problem! Without (much) rainwater or
supplemental irrigation, many plants can die from deep osmotic stress. Under dehydration,
the following lists the physiological changes that can ensue:
• Accumulation of solutes 12 , leading to harmful increases in concentration.
• Reduction in photosynthesis
• Cell shrinkage
While a number of promising improvements for drought management, including the use of
drought-resistant GMO crops and the use of drip-irrigation methods, consider the benefits
that electrically-stimulated farmland can bring. If you can recall, there are a number of
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