Detecting changes in the rate of photosynthesis can give a fast indication of the plant physiological state, resulting from the levels of water, light, temperature or nutrient levels. Gardin announces at REAP 2021 it has developed an optical phenotyping sensor, this low-cost device gives the grower timely recommendations for action.
Fabrizio Ticchiarelli, Lead Biologist at Gardin, presented in the Start-up Showcase at REAP 2021. He says: “We wanted to provide a tool that measures plant health, produce quality, ripeness, and plant yield – but we want to be able to measure that directly, to be able to react quickly to problems or engineer desired responses, such as fruiting or increasing the content of specific nutrients.
“Existing phenotyping devices measure plant features such as height, leaf size, shape and texture, which allows them to report on how well the plant is growing. However, these physical plant metrics are the end-result of processes in the plant cells that have been going on for days or weeks, so there is a lag in these metrics.
“To get a much more immediate indication of plant health and activity, you need to measure plant cell processes directly. That’s what we’re doing.
“The optical phenotyping sensor we are currently developing uses chlorophyll fluorescence, which is a signal that allows us to monitor photosynthesis directly, telling us how efficiently photosynthesis is occurring in each leaf and each part of the plant.
“Our prototype has completed trials in controlled environments with key clients; we would now like to talk to more growers and to tech developers about integration with automated systems and applications within precision agriculture.”
Find out more at gardin.co.uk.
REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture – 10th November 2021
Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.