Source: IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
MINIATURE, LOW-COST, FIELD-DEPLOYABLE SENSORS TO ADVANCE HIGH-THROUGHPUT PHENOTYPING FOR WATER USE DYNAMICS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1015145
Grant No.
2018-67021-27845
Project No.
IOW05533
Proposal No.
2017-06787
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
A1521
Project Start Date
Apr 15, 2018
Project End Date
Apr 14, 2022
Grant Year
2018
Project Director
Castellano, M. J.
Recipient Organization
IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
2229 Lincoln Way
AMES,IA 50011
Performing Department
Agronomy
Non Technical Summary
This proposal will develop and deploy "wearable" (i.e., non-destructive, leaf-mountable) sensors for the measurement of water transport dynamics in maize. The sensors will be used to enable a high-throughput phenotyping platform that demonstrates the sensors' ability to discriminate among maize genotypes for plant water transport dynamics. The new sensors will advance plant sciences and agricultural research in a manner similar to how wearable human body sensors have advanced human health and biomedical sciences.Two types of sensors to be developed and deployed in field research plots: a relative humidity (RH) sensor and leaf water content sensor. The RH sensor will measure humidity and temperature at the leaf surface, and can self-adjust its size and shape to adapt to the growth of leaves. The leaf water content sensor will be developed using advanced Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems technology, and will measure leaf thickness and water content. In years one and two, the sensors will be calibrated and validated. In years two and three, 400 of each type of sensor will be deployed across 50 maize hybrids in replicated plots. Each hybrid, selected from the Genomes to Fields Initiative (G2F), includes 24+ site-years of yield, weather and phenotype data from locations spanning Arizona to NY. Using sensor and grain yield data generated during the project in combination with yield and weather data from the G2F site-years, we will test the association of variation in water transport dynamics with variation of yield and yield stability among hybrids and in relation to environmental parameters.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
33%
Applied
33%
Developmental
34%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
4021510202075%
1021510106025%
Goals / Objectives
Water is generally the greatest limitation on crop production. Our goal is to develop and deploy "wearable" (i.e., non-destructive, leaf-mountable) sensors for the measurement of water transport dynamics in maize. The sensors will be used to enable a high-throughput plant breeding platform that demonstrates the sensors' ability to discriminate among maize genotypes for plant water transport dynamics. The new sensors will advance plant sciences and agricultural research in a manner similar to how wearable human body sensors have advancedhuman health and biomedical sciences.We have three objectives:Develop, calibrate, and optimize two types of low-cost, leaf-mounted, wearable plant sensors for accurate measurements of plant water dynamics.Use the sensors to develop a water use phenotyping platform that demonstrates the ability of sensors to discriminate among maize genotypes according to plant water dynamics.Test whether differences in plant water dynamics are predictive of yield or stability of yield across environments.Using sensor and grain yield data generated during the project in combination with yield and weather data from the Genomes To Fields project, we will test the association of variation in water transport dynamics with variation of yield and yield stability among hybrids and in relation to environmental parameters.
Project Methods
Two 'wearable' (i.e., non-destructive, leaf-mountable) sensors developed in this project will advance plant sciences and agricultural research in a manner similar to how wearable human body sensors have advanced human health and biomedical sciences. One sensor will measure relative humidity at the leaf surface using an adhesive tape-based sensor technology. The device is a patent-pending gas and vapor permeable tape patterned with graphine and graphine oxide. The graphine serves as an electrical resistor whose resistance changes with varying moisture levels. The second sensor will measure leaf water content and thickness using advanced Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. Using the two new sensors, we will develop a phenotyping platform that will characterize maize water use efficiency across different weather and soil environments. This will be accomplished by leveraging the Genomes to Fields maize phenotyping program that spans multiple locations from Arizona to New York.

Progress 04/15/19 to 04/14/20

Outputs
Target Audience:Scientists and engineers Changes/Problems:We originally intended a much larger field experiment in 2020 with many maize phenotypes. However, due to the COVID pandemic, our ability to develop and deploy sensors was hampered. Hence, we are requesting a no-cost extension to extend this work into 2021. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?The project trained an M.S. student in Electrical Engineering and an undergraduate student in Agronomy. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Yes, we submitted one techncial publication describing the sensors and sensor function in greenhouse and field experiments. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We will deploy the sensors in a field experiment to phenotype maize for water use efficiency.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Impact: We are developing, calibrating and optimizing two types of low-cost, leaf-mounted, wearable plant sensors that can be used to improve water use efficiency and reduce water stress in crop systems. During the project period we developed and deployed sensors in greenhouse and field experiments to validate measurements of relative humidity, temperature, and vapor pressure deficit. We increased our knowledge about how low-cost sensors can function on-plant to measure water dynamics. We project that our work help farmers to improve water use efficiency by reducing wasted water and increasing crop yield. Objective 1. Develop, calibrate, and optimize two types of low-cost, leaf-mounted, wearable plant sensors for accurate measurements of plant water dynamics. During this period, the two sensors described in Objective 1, were developed and deployed in greenhouse and field experiments. The sensors measured relative humidity, temperature, and vapor pressure deficit. The measurements compared well with off-the-shelf devices and accurately captured differences in relative humidity, temperature and vapor pressure deficit between maize crops that received or did not receive nitrogen fertilizer. The relative low-cost of these sensors compared to currently available products promises to improve the productivity, profitability and environmental performance of agriculture by optimizing irrigation inputs and leading to the development of high-throughput phenotyping platforms for water use efficiency. Objective 2. Use the sensors to develop a water use phenotyping platform that demonstrates the ability of sensors to discriminate among maize genotypes according to plant water dynamics. Nothing to report Objective 3.Test whether differences in plant water dynamics are predictive of yield or stability of yield across environments. Nothing to report

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Submitted Year Published: 2021 Citation: Yin S, Imbrahim H, Schnable P, Castellano M, Dong L. XXXX. A Field-deployable, Wearable Leaf Sensor for Continuous Monitoring of Vapor-Pressure Deficit. Advanced Materials Technologies. In review.


Progress 04/15/18 to 04/14/19

Outputs
Target Audience:Scientists and engineers. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?One M.S. student in Computer and Electrical Engineering. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?One conference paper and one conference presentation. One patent application. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Continue to field test and ruggedize the sensors.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We have been developing an integrated 'wearable' plant water sensor for monitoring both relative humidity and temperature at the same measurement point on the leaf. This flexible device allows calculation of vapor pressure deficit. We conducted an initial field experiment of the developed sensors. Twelve sensors, along with their data loggers, were deployed in a maize crop field. These sensors have recorded data for more than three weeks. Batteries are replaced once every eight days. More than half of these devices are still working despite multiple rain events during the experiment. Data analysis will be done after the devices are retrieved from the field. Objective 1... Develop, calibrate, and optimize two types of low-cost, leaf-mounted, wearable plant sensors for accurate measurements of plant water dynamics. With regard to the sensor materials and design, we measured Young's modulus of both Ecoflex silicone (YEcoflex) substrate and leaf (Yleaf). It is found that YEcoflex is less than Yleaf regardless of maize growth stage. This key mechanical measurement result allows the elimination of designing a complex wrinkled substrate for the proposed sensor. Ecoflex could be used as the device substrate for adapting to the plant growth during real-time monitoring of relative humidity and temperature. In addition, we have designed readout circuits for measuring and storing data of the sensor. Objective 2... Nothing to report Objective 3... Nothing to report

Publications

  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2019 Citation: Chen, Y., Tian, Y., Wang, X. and Dong, L., 2019, June. Miniaturized Soil Sensor for Continuous, In-Situ Monitoring of Soil Water Potential. In 2019 20th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems & Eurosensors XXXIII (TRANSDUCERS & EUROSENSORS XXXIII) (pp. 2025-2028). IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/TRANSDUCERS.2019.8808562
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2019 Citation: Liang Dong, Smart Sensors for Digital Agriculture, Phenome 2019, Tucson, AZ, February 6-9.