Special Issue "Phytosensors: Environmental Sensing with Plants and Plant Cells"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2008)
Prof. Dr. Charles Neal Stewart Jr.
Department of Plant Sciences, 2431 Joe Johnson Dr., Room 252 Ellington Plant Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561, USA
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Fax: +1 865 946 1989
Interests: biosensors; biotechnology; bioenergy; environmental stress; GFP; phytosensors; plants; promoters; remote sensing; whole organisms; synthetic biology transgenic plants; weedy plants
Because plants are nearly ubiquitous and keystone elements in most ecosystems, scientists have long envisioned using them as environmental sentinels for the sensing of stress and diseases in agricultural systems to toxic chemicals and biological agents outside of agriculture. One way to accomplish this would be to use unique spectral signatures from ‘native’ plants, and while spectra from vegetation tends to be messy, progress has been made. However, as biotechnological and genomic developments have emerged, the promise of genetically engineered sentinel plants has emerged. There are a number of hurdles to implementation such as problems with signal-to-noise and specificity of outputs, but the science has progressed nonetheless. This special issue captures the latest developments in phytosensor science and technology and also points the way to the future. Phytosensors are still in their infancy, and so it is exciting to witness growth and achievements as the science breaks through various hurdles looking toward the day when ‘talking’ plants can act as unmanned sensors to report on crucial components in the environment.
- phyto sensors