Researchers Design Sensors to Rapidly Detect Plant Hormones

Researchers from the Disruptive and Sustainable Technologies for Agricultural Precision (DiSTAP) interdisciplinary research group of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, and their local collaborators from Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have developed the first-ever nanosensor to enable rapid testing of synthetic auxin plant hormones.

“CoPhMoRe technology can replace current state-of-the-art sensing methods which are laborious, destructive, and unsafe.” Of the two sensors developed by the research team, the 2,4D nanosensor also showed the ability to detect herbicide susceptibility, enabling farmers and agricultural scientists to quickly find out how vulnerable or resistant different plants are to herbicides without the need to monitor crop or weed growth over days. They also use very low-cost electronics, which makes them easily adaptable for commercial setups.” The team says their research can lead to future development of real-time nanosensors for other dynamic plant hormones and metabolites in living plants as well.

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