Dr Fril started with barley, which has the longest spikes of the three, and therefore the most potential for fine tuning.
(He also likes a glass of beer.)
Besides tweaking the spike lengths, his team installed in their modified barley plants versions of the buzz-detecting and nectar-generating genes from evening primroses.
Together with a few other genetic rearrangements, the consequent redirection of nutrients (for wind-pollinated crops like barley produce no nectar, meaning the nutrients involved are available for other purposes) means that GeneDupe's Fortissimo barley grows faster than the normal variety if it is played appropriate sounds.
The first generation of Fortissimo barley had not involved too much tinkering with the original genetics, so it was to the buzzing of bees that it responded.
However, barley's wind pollination means bees do not bother to visit it.
It was therefore necessary to play the sound of bees across the experimental field through a speaker stack, which resulted in numerous complaints from the firm's neighbours.
Applying another of modern biotechnology's techniques, protein-folding software, did away with that problem.
By predicting how protein chains will fold up, and thus what physical properties the resulting molecule will have, this software allows the design of novel genes that encode suites of proteins which respond appropriately but specifically to a wide range of sounds, from Beethoven to Beyonce.
That permits farmers to sow whichever variety of crop corresponds to their personal musical taste.
The prize activity of GeneDupe's newly created botanoacoustics division, however, is its work on the flip side of the matter—sound generation by plants.
The aim of this is to get crops to egg each other on to grow faster, with each plant broadcasting sounds that will stimulate the growth of those adjacent.
That way there will be no need for loudspeakers, aggrieved neighbours or the inevitable arguments about which tracks crops like to listen to most.
This last point will in any case be settled in the next generation of Fortissimo crops, for GeneDupe's artificial-intelligence algorithms have developed versions of them that will both generate and respond to any pattern of sound programmed into their DNA, from Rabbie Burns's “Coming through the rye” to that glorious, tub-thumping, harvest-festival hymn, “The valleys stand so thick with corn/That even they are singing”.
With this tweak, Dr Fril is pretty sure he will have a commercial success on his hands after its unveiling to an eager public on Saturday.