Newly created electrochemical sensors will help researchers understand sugar transport in plants, to improve agricultural and biorefinery raw material production. Pictures published with permission.A new system to monitor sugar levels in plants or trees in real time, for the purpose of optimising growth conditions, in the face of climate change. Seems futuristic? It is here, in any case.
Bio4Energy scientists with expertise in feedstock research teamed up with partners in Sweden, Italy, France, Greece to create cheap-to-produce sensors that gauge the levels and whereabouts of sugar in plants, as they vary over the day and with changing climatic conditions.
The idea is to have a versatile way for researchers to implant small electrochemical sensors directly in the plant to monitor the fluctuations in the way in which the sugar is transported stored in the plant. The results are directly visible.
With this kind of research tool, it will be possible to gauge optimal conditions for growth for various types of plants, for instance which kind of soil, soil moisture and temperature conditions should be preferred.