SYIELD:Networked Mimic Sensors for Crop Enhancement & Disease Control

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Plant Biology & Crop Science

Abstract

The project will enable growers to produce more food from fewer inputs, through an integrated farm management strategy which optimises the mode-of-action for Crop Protection (CP) chemistries based upon local farm networks of in-field biosensors which then connect to form a UK, and international, INFRASTRUCTURE. Ideally, but not exclusively, this will be combined with the dual action DISEASE CONTROL and CROP ENHANCEMENT offered by a subset of CP chemistries. The science behind host / pathogen interaction will be exploited to engineer environmentally tolerant mimic surfaces which will trick the pathogen into germination on the sensor cartridge. This will occur at the same time or in advance of the disease progress in the bulk crop. The mimic surface, in conjunction with detection of specific factors from the pathogen, will form the basis of the biosensor specificity. Early adoption will be against Sclerotinia in UK Oil Seed Rape (OSR) integrated with Syngenta's dual-mode Amistar chemistry. UK technology companies will manufacture the in-field nodes, which house the disposable sensor cartridge, micro air-sampler, intelligent interface electronics & OEM telecoms modules. These will link, alongside satellite crop-usage data, to a GIS web portal accessible as a commercial service to; farmers, agronomists, government and other agri-food stakeholders. This integration of SENSOR-NETWORK and CP chemistries sets a global precedent for growers to increase their current ROI by 6-7 times at NO PERCEPTIBLE COST TO FARMERS, with corresponding additional UK productivity of 16.4M p.a. following a conservative adoption by 1/3rd of OSR farms.
 
Description A patent was filed by Syngenta and has been published.

The technology was tested in Canada in 2014 and shown to detect the pathogens, thereby indicating whether a fungicide spray was required on not. The results were very encouraging and the field trials in Canada were repeated in 2015 and 2016.
Exploitation Route This new detection method for Sclerotina fungal spores can be used to further improve the understanding of the basic biology of this pathogen under field conditions. For example, the exact weather conditions which lead to spore release from the infected soil.

The same technology could be applied to other pathogens where iut is known that they produce specific metabolites early during infection, for example Botrytis cinerea.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment

 
Description Results presented at the Cereals event in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Field trials done by Syngenta in Canada in 2015 and 2016 to explore the accuracy of the new remote sensing technique to identify Sclerotinia infections in oilseed rape fields. These two years of field trials were successful. The patent filed by Syngenta has been published. Images of the disease presented in a photographic competition in Salford in 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description Industrial-CASE BBSRC studentship with Syngenta_Steph Heard
Amount £128,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2010 
End 10/2014
 
Description InnovateUK (Blight Alert project)
Amount £160,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 102099 (previous code 46178-329232) 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Description InnovateUK (SporeID project)
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Project 102104 (previous code 46056 - 329222) 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Description InnovateUK - Productive and sustainable crop and ruminant agricultural systems - Spraysaver project
Amount £1,291,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 26757 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Innovation Centres UK (CHAP)
Amount £2,469,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description Blight Alert InnovateUk project 
Organisation Burkard Manufacturing Co. Ltd
PI Contribution Development of DNA-based diagnostics, automated air sampling device and new information on the epidemiology of potato blight
Collaborator Contribution Engineering, communications, wifi, mathematical modelling
Impact See my personal portfolio
Start Year 2015
 
Description Blight Alert InnovateUk project 
Organisation James Hutton Institute
Department Cell and Molecular Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Development of DNA-based diagnostics, automated air sampling device and new information on the epidemiology of potato blight
Collaborator Contribution Engineering, communications, wifi, mathematical modelling
Impact See my personal portfolio
Start Year 2015
 
Description Monitoring Airborne Pathogens 
Organisation Syngenta International AG
Department Syngenta Ltd (Bracknell)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research and assessment of methods to process collected air samples for DNA-based detection of plant pathogens. Detection of genetic traits of plant pathogens such as fungicide resistance. A phenotyping method to assess virulence and fungicide sensitivity of obligate plant pathogens such as wheat powdery mildew and yellow rust.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of sampling sites
Impact None yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smart detection of airborne diseases in protected crops Waitros CTP PhD studentship 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Warwick Crop Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supervision and provision of lab and plant growth facilities for PhD student, jointly with the Warwick Crop Centre and APS produce Ltd.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of access to commercial glasshouses (APS Produce Ltd), provision of seeds and diseased plant material and supervision; Provision of research glasshouse (Warwick crop centre) and isolates of fungal pathogens and supervision.
Impact none yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description SporeID project 
Organisation Burkard Manufacturing Co. Ltd
PI Contribution development of isothermal DNA-based diagnostics, development of an automated spore trap, improved understanding of disease epidemiology, assessment of fungicide sensitivity
Collaborator Contribution engineering, communications, diagnostics
Impact see my personal portfolio
Start Year 2015
 
Description SporeID project 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Department School of Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution development of isothermal DNA-based diagnostics, development of an automated spore trap, improved understanding of disease epidemiology, assessment of fungicide sensitivity
Collaborator Contribution engineering, communications, diagnostics
Impact see my personal portfolio
Start Year 2015
 
Description Spraysaver InnovateUK project 
Organisation Burkard Manufacturing Co. Ltd
PI Contribution We will co-develop new assays for detection of selected plant pathogens and apply them to an automated DNA-based detectyion system linked to an air sampling device, which will report results wirelessly. Partners are: Burkard, Worcestershire Colleges Group, HL Hutchinsons Ltd, Velcourt Ltd, Spearhead International, RSK ADAS Ltd.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of sites, stabilisation of reagents, engineering, electronics ,web-portal.
Impact none yet
Start Year 2019
 
Description 11th International Congress of Aerobiology, 3-7 Sept 2018, Parma, Italy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jon West made an invited keynote presentation at this international conference and also chaired another session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.eas-aerobiology.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ICA2018.pdf
 
Description AAB precision Agriculture conference October 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jon West made an invited keynote presentation at the conference and this was associated with the following publication: West JS, Canning GGM, Perryman SA, Kaczmarek A, King KM (2017) Precision disease detection systems for agriculture and horticulture. Aspects of Applied Biology: Precision systems in agricultural and horticultural production v135, p1-8 (2017).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ASPP Science Protecting Plant Health Conference, Brisbane Sept 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jon West chaired a conference session and also made an invited presentation. West JS, Canning GGM, Kaczmarek A, King KM (2017) Comparison of rooftop and field-based air samplers for early detection and population monitoring of plant pathogens. Science Protecting Plant Health, 26-28 September 2017, Brisbane, Australia. Abstract Page 135. https://www.appsnet.org/publications/Brisbane_Presentations/West.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.appsnet.org/publications/Brisbane_Presentations/West.pdf
 
Description Cereals 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Demonstration of new equipment developed in two InnovateUK and one AHDB project, secondly publicising the CroProtect project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cereals 2018 13-14 June 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact At this large Farmer-focussed annual event, over two days, we presented and demonstrated new devices developed in our research, jointly with an industry partner (Burkard).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.cerealsevent.co.uk/
 
Description Crop Protection Association/Fresh Produce Consortium annual conference, Peterborough 23 January 2018 (invited presentation) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited presentation about Advances in pathogen detection, monitoring and forecasting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://freshproduce.org.uk/media/694099/Briefing-Document-23-Jan.pdf
 
Description Innovate in the East - Presentation 20 April 2018, (BT Adastral Park, Ipswich) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Jon West made a 15 minute presentation to an audience of about 80 people at this KTN event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Congress of Plant Pathology, Boston, USA, 29 July-3 Aug 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jon West co-organised and chaired a session and made a presentation at this international conference, which had over 2500 delegates.
Video of presentation is at: https://www.apsnet.org/publications/Webinars/Pages/2018videos.aspx?LID=Paper3980.mp4
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.icpp2018.org/Pages/default.aspx
 
Description LANDMARK article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Writing and publishing a specialist article on recent technical innovations

JS West (2016) Spore Trapping at Rothamsted advances into the Internet age. NIAB-TAG LANDMARK Issue 27 (Sept 2016), p8-9.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description World Mycotoxin Forum, Amsterdam 12-14 March (invited presentation). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on near real-time detection f pathogen spores for disease risk alerts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://worldmycotoxinforum.org/media/brochure%20WMF2018.pdf