31. Many discoveries in science have been accidental. This is true for plant hormones also. Can you justify this statement by giving an example? Also what term is used for such accidental findings?


Discovery of plant hormone gibberellins was made by chance. It happened by chance in rice fields. A few plants of rice were observed, which were unusually taller than the normal ones. Scientific investigation revealed, that these were infected with a fungus, known as Gibberella fufikuroi.

This fungus releases a plant hormone gibberellic acid in excess concentrations which made the plant to grow unusually tall. This compound was later known as gibberellin is hormones present in all plants.
The term used for accidental finding is Serendipity which means fortunate happenstance. It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. He explained it as making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things, which were hot in quest of.