Scientists Developed a Mobile App That Can Determine Plant Diseases

Researchers at North Carolina State University created an app that allows farmers to determine plant diseases. The device connects to a smartphone and works by sampling volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which plants release through their leaves, writes “Agro-Center”.

“All plants release VOCs when they “breathe ” but the type and concentration of VOCs change when a plant is diseased,”

says Kingshan Wei, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

The developers explained that by measuring the type and concentration of VOCs released by a plant, it is possible to determine whether the plant is ill and determine the type of disease.

“Our contribution is the device that can be connected to a smartphone and used to quickly perform VOC measurements,”

said Wei.

Modern methods of identifying diseases rely on molecular analyzes, which take hours, and must be carried out in a laboratory. Getting a sample to the lab and waiting for the results can delay the identification of the disease for days or weeks.

“Our technology will help farmers identify diseases more quickly so that they can limit the spread of disease and crop damage,”

said Jean Rishtaneo, a well-known professor at the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University.

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