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Nature & Biofield

BIOPHOTON EMISSION FROM PLANTS: A CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF PLANT SIGNALING Credits NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL (2018)

 

The intriguing discovery that all living systems continuously emit endogenous, ultraweak photons has inspired numerous researchers to consider the information-bearing potential of biological photons as carriers of inter- and intracellular communication. In 1923, Alexander Gurwitsch first observed that a "morphogenetic field" in the form of ultraviolet light was involved in the regulation of plant cellular division. Over the last half century, the development of increasingly more sensitive photon detection technologies has revealed that a variety of plant, animal, and human cells continuously emit a low-intensity photoemission, which reflects the state of the organism's health. Wounded, stressed, and diseased cells tend to emit more light than healthy ones. It has also been suggested that photon emission and re-absorption in green leafy plants may provide for a dynamic communication feedback process. All of these observations and theoretic conjectures are dependent upon an actual photon emitter, and the primary plant emitters are chlorophyll molecules. In this research, corroborating evidence is provided to support recent research findings that the biophotonic signaling in wounded plant leaves is suppressed when in an oxygen-deficient environment. This novel research contributes to the body of plant wound-induced luminescence research and provides a novel methodology to measure this signaling phenomenon in vivo under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

This dissertation was inspired by the bio-informational aspects of biological photoemission. In lieu of previous research to date, it seems the time is appropriate to consider a more prominent role of photonic bio-information. From this expansive perspective, biological information is more photo-electro-chemical in nature. This has led this information scientist to the question: “Can light be a potential communication channel for biological information?” If so, “what are the potential exogenous stimulants of biophoton emission? What are the resultant “carriers” (emitters, transmitters) of biological photoemission in plants and humans?” “Are there novel experimental techniques capable of shedding new ‘light’ in this exciting research domain? Early exploratory experiments by the author investigated UPE of humans and plants as reported in the literature.

The term “biophoton,” coined by Popp, intentionally refers to this “biophysical” aspect of biological light. Popp too viewed the “photon field as a regulator for the excitation of biological matter “ (Popp, 2003a, p. 389). Similarly, Rubik (2002) viewed the “living state [as] a multilevel informed and informing complex dynamic regulatory system” [where] “as part of biologic regulation and maintenance of homeodynamics, cells and tissues may engage in continuous EM [electromagnetic] field sensing and exchange of information” (p. 713). Thus, this theory views the “photon field in living systems as the regulator for the excitation of the biological matter” (Popp, 2003a, p. 389).

Living systems are open systems, that are far from equilibrium, exhibit irreversible thermodynamics, and exist in a “flowing balance” (Bertalanffy). They exchange “energy and information, mainly through electromagnetic interaction with the environment. The stream of matter which is dissipated during the life cycle interacts mainly via electromagnetic fields” (Schwabl & Klima, 2005, pp. 86–87). Arquilla and Ronfeldt present this view as information and Physical Matter where information “is an embedded physical property of all objects that exhibit organizational structure... [applicable] to dirt clods as well as DNA strands” (Arquilla & Ronfeldt, 1997, p. 148). They summarize: The views of information as message and medium persist, but are embedded in a view that all matter and energy in the universe are not only based on information but are designed to process and convey it. Information is the prime mover. Both order and chaos depend upon it. (p. 149). Plants have evolved a variety of means to sense and adapt to their environment. A relatively new field of “plant neurobiology” views plants as “information processing organisms with complex communication throughout the individual plant” (“International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology,” n.d.).

Creath (2008) and Creath & Schwartz (2005) hypothesized that the biophoton emission and subsequent reabsorption by localized plant leaves in effect create a positive feedback loop where energy and bioinformation are able to be transferred. Plants also emit light in response to wounding and stress.

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