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Sensors 2008, 8(5), 3205-3239; doi:10.3390/s8053205

Signature Optical Cues: Emerging Technologies for Monitoring Plant Health

1
Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences, Singapore Polytechnic, 500 Dover Road, 139651 Singapore
2
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, 639798 Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 February 2008 / Accepted: 13 May 2008 / Published: 16 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytosensors: Environmental Sensing with Plants and Plant Cells)
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Abstract

Optical technologies can be developed as practical tools for monitoring plant health by providing unique spectral signatures that can be related to specific plant stresses. Signatures from thermal and fluorescence imaging have been used successfully to track pathogen invasion before visual symptoms are observed. Another approach for noninvasive plant health monitoring involves elucidating the manner with which light interacts with the plant leaf and being able to identify changes in spectral characteristics in response to specific stresses. To achieve this, an important step is to understand the biochemical and anatomical features governing leaf reflectance, transmission and absorption. Many studies have opened up possibilities that subtle changes in leaf reflectance spectra can be analyzed in a plethora of ways for discriminating nutrient and water stress, but with limited success. There has also been interest in developing transgenic phytosensors to elucidate plant status in relation to environmental conditions. This approach involves unambiguous signal creation whereby genetic modification to generate reporter plants has resulted in distinct optical signals emitted in response to specific stressors. Most of these studies are limited to laboratory or controlled greenhouse environments at leaf level. The practical translation of spectral cues for application under field conditions at canopy and regional levels by remote aerial sensing remains a challenge. The movement towards technology development is well exemplified by the Controlled Ecological Life Support System under development by NASA which brings together technologies for monitoring plant status concomitantly with instrumentation for environmental monitoring and feedback control. View Full-Text
Keywords: Thermography; fluorescence; leaf reflectance; plant stress; CIE color space; red edge; phytosensors; transgenic plants; reporter genes; inducible promoters; remote sensing. Thermography; fluorescence; leaf reflectance; plant stress; CIE color space; red edge; phytosensors; transgenic plants; reporter genes; inducible promoters; remote sensing.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liew, O.W.; Chong, P.C.J.; Li, B.; Asundi, A.K. Signature Optical Cues: Emerging Technologies for Monitoring Plant Health. Sensors 2008, 8, 3205-3239.

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