Sensors for Plant Disease Detection

The Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security cluster team develops and deploys innovative in-field sensor, bioinformatic and geospatial data analytics platforms for early plant disease surveillance on tomato. We arel developing cost-effective sensor platforms for monitoring physical, chemical, environmental, and biomolecular parameters of crops that are signatures for disease or abiotic stress. The data generated from these field-portable and plant-wearable sensor platforms will be collected via wireless technology on smartphones and integrated with a bioinformatics and geospatial database to populate a cloud-based Plant-Aid database (PAdb) of biotic and abiotic plant stress in crop fields.  Such data can subsequently be quickly scaled-up, enabling alerts to be sent to growers of new outbreaks via geospatial visualization tools. This information will empower growers to respond to biotic attackers more rapidly with appropriate management strategies. We will target important fungal, oomycete, bacterial, and viral pathogens and their vectors on tomatoes and test the technology on laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments. Our technologies will be scalable to other crops. This digital smart phone- based technology is innovative and will impact every area of the food and agriculture sector as these sensors can be scaled for detection of food borne human, animal or insect pests, and other pathogens of importance to US agriculture.

Funding Sources

Ristaino, J.,  Wei, Q. and Jones, C. 2020.  A Data Driven and Sensor Integrated Platform for Monitoring Emerging Phytophthora Diseases with VOC and MN Patch sensors. APHIS Farm Bill. $301,048.

Ristaino, J.,  Wei, Q. and Jones, C. 2019  A Data Driven and Sensor Integrated Platform for Monitoring Emerging Plant Diseases with VOC and MN Patch sensors. USDA APHIS Farm Bill. $338, 322.

Wei, Q. and Ristaino, J.  2020. Rapid Crop DNA Extraction and Genotyping by Microneedles. BASF Company, $1,105,875.

Ristaino, J.,  Wei, Q., Zhu, Y. Whitfield, A., Rotenberg, D., Rasmussen, D., Meadows, I. Zering, K., Scheller, R., and Jones, C. 2019  Plant-Aid: A data driven and sensor integrated platform for monitoring emerging plant diseases.  Grip4PSI, $536,250.

Wei, Q., Ristaino, J. and Parsons, G. 2018. Smartphone-Based Leaf Volatile Profiling for Noninvasive Diagnosis of Plant Pathogens. USDA AFRI Eager, $200,000

Wei, Q. and Ristaino, J.  2017. A field -portable thermoplasmonic plant DNA extraction device for emerging plant disease diagnosis.  Kenan Institute for Science and Technology.  $60,000.