SIENA – System Interpreting Electrophysiology Networks in Agricultural crops

The plant response to the environmental changes is portrayed by distinct variation in the emitted electrical signal triggered by the appropriate physiological adjustments. In the scope of a previous Innosuisse-founded project PISA - Platform applying Intelligent Signal Analysis to gain insights to plant electrophysiology, the data-analysis team at HEIG-VD has shown the presence of substantial information in the electrophysiological recordings done in typical growing condition for identifying the status of a tomato plant related to an applied stressor.

The objective of this project is to advance our capabilities in monitoring and interpreting plant electrophysiology through innovative technology to help increase agricultural yields and sustainability. We also want to deepen our knowledge in the electrical response of several important species in Swiss agriculture, namely tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, basil, raspberries and vines.

To ensure better signal-to-noise ratio, which would allow a more accurately interpretation of the acquired signal, this project integrates the development of a specialized flexible high-impendence electrodes using conductive polymer matrix materials that are biocompatible for plants and provide low noise, high resolution signal transmission.

An extended application of advances data analysis techniques will help develop predictive models for detecting plant stress directly on site, using a portable low-power grounded sensor that will be designed, developed and tested in this project. Moreover, such analysis would allow to investigate the universality and specificity of the electrophysiological signal from different plant types which would further help to understand the reliability of applying learnings from one crop to others.

Project funded by Innosuisse - 42751.1 IP-EE.