E-mail from the spinach

E-mail from the spinach

If researchers like michael strano and his team, the digitization of agriculture is only an intermediate stage. They rely on hybrid systems from special plants and sensors that the environment should monitor.

In collaboration with stranos team, singapore university researchers now developed a portable sensor with which the vital data of plants around the clock have woken up. Gerat the plant under stress, the sensor lost, for example, an e-mail notification. The gerat offers farmers and plant scientists a new tool for the early diagnosis and real-time monitoring of plant health.

Data in real time

The new sensor that is simply plugged into a sheet uses raman spectroscopy. This measures the inelastic scattering of light at molecules. Complex molecules produce characteristic spectral fingerprints. Of the "portable raman leaf clip sensor for rapid detection of plant stress" responds to changes in the nitrogen household of the plant.

So far, this was previously possible in the laboratory – not in real time on the free field. While the study operated mainly with the meng of nitrogen content in plants, the device can also be used to recognize the content of other plant stressphanotypes such as dryness, heat and cold stress, salt stress and light stress.

Arsenic in the ground

In the long term, the researchers work, however, to install the sensors – at least for the coarse part – into the plant itself. This works using a special process in the cells of the plants of carbon nanoroids. These urge their fluorescence properties in the presence of certain other molecules.

In december 2020, the researchers demonstrated by the help of this method as arsenic in the soil is much easier and faster than before. In april 2020, the researchers published a paper in which they could show that in this way modified plants aiming a signal out if their surface is mechanically violated – for example by a shadling infestation.