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Iowa Soybean Research Center

in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

Low-Cost Multimodal Sensor Arrays for Early-Detection of Soybean Diseases

By Liang Dong, associate professor of electrical & computer engineering and Steven Whitham, professor of plant pathology, entomology and microbiology, ISU

Progress Report (March 2023)

The goal of this project is to develop a multi-disease diagnostic device for low-cost, rapid detection of several fungal, viral, and bacterial soybean diseases. The goal is early detection of diseases at a stage when there are often no symptoms, to reduce the risk of disease spreading. The device is designed for instantaneous or continuous measurements. Real-time monitoring during the growing season will help in making management decisions for protecting yield potential. From a scientific research perspective, the proposed technology will help us to better understand initiation, promotion, and progression of various soybean diseases under different conditions. The proposed device is composed of an array of non-invasive or minimally invasive electrochemical sensing elements specific to multiple critical biomarkers in the plant, soil and air. The project involves sensor designing, manufacturing, and testing towards high detection specificity and sensitivity with low cost ($1 per device). This project will focus on fundamental engineering research and building new measurement capacities needed to tackle challenges in crop disease prediction and prevention in the future.

Selected for funding October 2021