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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Research Project #437895

Research Project: Phytoelectronic Xylem Sensing

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-13000-010-14-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Jul 31, 2023

Objective:
(1) Investigate the use of organic-based sensors to measure nitrogen, potassium, sodium, and pressure inside crop plants, in real time. (2) Investigate the possibility of using the described sensors as an on-farm nutrient and water management tool.

Approach:
The first stage of the project will require the development of an implantable sensor (a permanent xylem implant) that is sensitive enough and small enough to provide meaningful ion/anion concentration measurements (as well as water vapor pressure measurements), in real time, from within plant stems. This part of the project will be completed by Cooperator. The second stage of the project is to test the efficacy of these sensors in crop plants (sunflower and maize) to measure nutrients and xylem pressure, and thus determine the usefulness of the developed sensors as on-farm tools to manage the application of fertilizer and water. This part of the project will be undertaken by the Cooperator, with guidance provided by ARS.