Strengthen sustainable agriculture with plant probes

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have developed several plant-friendly polymer microneedles that can enhance sustainable agriculture.

This new technology for developing ultra-thin sensors for observing crop health helps farmers grow more food without imposing extra demands on their land and enhances sustainable agriculture. May do.

Intensive farming is already widespread Loss of biodiversity Climate change and population growth are putting more pressure on farmers to grow more food. The current challenge is to increase agricultural production without clearing more land or using unnecessary fertilizers. Precision agriculture is a promising solution that requires real-time monitoring of plant needs and addressing them with the correct amount of water, light, or nutrients.

“Precision agriculture usually relies on soil-based sensors or drones with special cameras,” he explained. Student Abdullah Bucamsin said, “But we can’t catch plant changes fast enough to allow intervention.”

Previous studies have measured bioimpedance (how easily an electric current passes through organic tissue) to provide physiological information about plants, from nitrogen and water content to the presence of fungal infections and metal pollutants. It has been shown that can be clarified.

However, plants have a thick outer layer that can block electrical signals, and the bioimpedance sensor must penetrate the surface without affecting the properties you want to evaluate. Making an instrument small enough to do this job remains challenging.

Interdisciplinary group of researchers from now KaustLed by Khaled Salama, he has succeeded in developing an effective technique for producing silicone molds that can be used to produce ultra-thin microneedles. These delicate needles can be released intact by submerging the mold in trichloromethane. “The swelling causes the mold to swell slightly, which gently pushes out the trapped structure,” explains Bucamsin.

Reusable molds are some plant-friendly polymers that are cost effective and have the potential to facilitate the development of mass-produced microneedles.When researchers test microneedles Arabidopsis The leaves and puncture holes were sealed within 4 days and the plant remained intact.

“In our tests, impedance measurements were closely related to the amount of light the plant was exposed to and its dehydration,” said Bucamsin. “This bioimpedance data can be used with shading techniques and irrigation systems that address the actual needs of the crop, thus preventing watering.” Surprisingly, this relationship also applies to other crops, including nut palms and barley. It was almost the same. “This is promising because it emphasizes the diversity of approaches and their potential applicability across different plants,” he continued.

“Next, we will investigate what other environmental factors affect plant impedance, and explore ways to quantify hormone levels in different plant species using electrochemical measurements. I will. “

This comprehensive data has the potential to enable finer-tuned precision agriculture in the future.

https://www.innovationnewsnetwork.com/using-plant-probes-enhance-sustainable-farming/12686/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=using-plant-probes-enhance-sustainable-farming Strengthen sustainable agriculture with plant probes

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