, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 670–678 | Cite as

Sonic vibration affects the metabolism of yeast cells growing in liquid culture: a metabolomic study

  • Raphael Bastos Mereschi Aggio
  • Victor Obolonkin
  • Silas Granato Villas-Bôas
Original Article


It is undeniable that music and sounds can affect our emotions and mood, but so far the study of physical stimuli provoked by sound on living organisms has been mostly focused on brain and sensorimotor structures rather than cellular metabolism. Using metabolomics, we compared the physiology of yeast cells growing in defined liquid medium exposed to music, high and low frequency sonic vibration and silence. All sonic stimuli tested not only increased the growth rate of the yeast cells by 12% but they also reduced biomass production by 14%. The intra- and extracellular metabolite profiles differed significantly depending on the sonic stimulus applied showing that different metabolic pathways are affected differently by different sound frequency. Therefore, our results clearly demonstrate that sound does affect microbial cell metabolism when growing in liquid culture, opening an entirely new perspective for scientific investigation interfacing acoustics, biophysics and biochemistry.


Metabolomics Metabolite profiling Bioacoustics Yeast physiology Cell metabolism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphael Bastos Mereschi Aggio
    • 1
  • Victor Obolonkin
    • 1
  • Silas Granato Villas-Bôas
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Microbial Innovation, School of Biological SciencesThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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