Many epidemics affect crops and plants. We have to fight with it amidst the pandemic going on. These diseases affecting crops and plant, especially to Oranges, olives, and bananas have already been a threat as they can not be cured by any pesticide. These diseases affect the plant’s circulatory system.
MIT has developed a technique through which these plants can be secured from these diseases.
These diseases can not be detected early due to a lack of essential tools.
The technique developed by MIT uses an array of microneedles made of a silk-based biomaterial to deliver nutrients, drugs, or other molecules to specific parts of the plant.
The microneedles are called as photoinjectors by researchers. They can have a variety of sizes and shapes and can deliver material specifically to a plant’s roots, stems, or leaves, or into its xylem or phloem.
Researchers say that while testing in the lab, the team used tomato and tobacco plants, but the system could be adapted to almost any crop. The microneedles can deliver targeted payloads of molecules into the plant as well they can also be used to take samples from the plants for lab analysis.
This need of finding a cure to protect crops from this disease arises after a request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was made as this threat has already collapsed $9 billion industry, says, a research group Marelli.
Asian citrus psyllid is the name of an insect that spreads this disease. No cure has been discovered yet, and for that Marelli’s lab swung into gear to develop the novel microneedle technology, led by Cao as his thesis project.
The disease infects the phloem of the entire plant, including roots, which are very difficult to succeed in with any conventional treatment, Marelli explains. Most pesticides are simply sprayed or painted onto a plant’s leaves or stem and tiny if any penetrates to the basic system. Such treatments may appear to figure for a brief while, on the other hand, the bacteria recover and do their damage. what’s needed are some things which will target the phloem circulating through a plant’s tissues, which could carry an antibacterial compound down into the roots. That’s just what some version of the new microneedles could potentially accomplish says, Marelli.