Spectroscopy technique remotely detects abiotic stress in living plants

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In Mississippi, researchers from Mississippi State University, Texas A&M University and Baylor University used a novel Raman spectroscopy technique to non-invasively detect, at the molecular level, changes in living plants due to abiotic stresses. The study shows the importance of using interdisciplinary techniques to solve complex global problems.

Researchers subjected plants to common abiotic stresses such as high soil salinity, drought, chilling exposure and light saturation. Using a remote spectroscopic system, researchers were able to detect plant stress reactions without harming the plants. The detection technology holds promise for mobile automated systems to help food growers more quickly and efficiently respond to plant stresses.

“With growing concerns about the impacts of climate change, environmental stresses and global food security, this work holds a promise for a rapid, cost effective, and non-invasive alternative for detection of abiotic stress in plants,” said MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty member Ariunbold Gombojav.