You are here: Home » News-ANI » Technology
Business Standard

New spectral analysis tech can help boost plant production

Topics
Technology Internet

ANI  |  Others 

A new called spectral analysis can quickly scan an entire field of plants to capture improvements in their natural capacity to harvest the sun's energy, a game-changing development that could greatly improve crop performance.

Researchers engineered crops to be more productive by improving photosynthesis, the natural process all plants use to convert sunlight into energy and yield.

"This method allows us to measure improvements we have engineered in a plant's photosynthesis machinery in about ten seconds, compared to the traditional method that takes up 30 minutes. That's a major advance because it allows our team to analyze an enormous amount of genetic material to efficiently pinpoint traits that could greatly improve crop performance," said lead researcher, Katherine Meacham-Hensold.

The traditional method for assessing photosynthesis analyzes the exchange of gases through the leaf, it provides a huge amount of information, but it takes 30 minutes to measure each leaf.

A faster, or "higher-throughput" method, called spectral analysis, analysed the light that is reflected back from leaves to predict photosynthetic capacity in as little as 10 seconds.

"The question we set out to answer is: can we apply spectral techniques to predict photosynthetic capacity when we have genetically altered the photosynthetic machinery. Before this study, we didn't know if changing the plant's photosynthetic pathways would change the signal that is detected by spectral measurements," said research leader Carl Bernacchi.

"Spectral analysis requires custom-built models to translate spectral data into measurements of photosynthetic capacity that must be recreated each year. Our next challenge is to figure out what we are measuring so that we can build predictive models that can be used year after year to compare results over time," Meacham said.

"While there are still hurdles ahead, spectral analysis is a game-changing technique that can be used to assess a variety of photosynthetic improvements to single out the changes that are most likely to substantially, and sustainably, increase crop yields. These tools can help us speed up our efforts to develop high-yielding crops for farmers working to help feed the world," said one of the researchers, Christine Raines.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 20:47 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU