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Project name:

NAOMI2025 - Plant nematode pest control based on ascaroside 18 molecule detection by an integrated smart device

Status: Pending
Creation date: 26-03-2020

Project objectives:

Plant-parasitic nematodes are costly burdens of crop yields. Tomato plants are a nematode-susceptible species, with a consequent high level of economic loss worldwide. Being ubiquitous in nature, phytoparasitic nematodes are associated also with nearly every important agricultural crop and, therefore, represent a significant constraint on global food security. Of note, nematodes live in the soil, attack plant roots and their detection is mainly entrusted by low-tech approaches. NAOMI2025 will foresee the development of a novel hybrid device to detect the presence of nematodes in the rhizosphere, implement an immediate infection mitigation strategy, and inform the farmer of the presence of the pathogen. The goal of NAOMI2025 is to develop a new generation of bioelectronic hybrid devices with sensing skill and chemical stimulation capability for local delivery of nematodes repellent that will dramatically improve our ability to interact with the soil system and prevent/mitigate the dramatic effects of nematode disease. As proof of concept tomato plants will be used as model species. To achieve these goals, NAOMI2025 will utilize organic electronic materials and devices, often targeted for their low-cost processing and chemical tunability of properties. In NAOMI2025 organic electrochemical transistors (OECT) that have recently been demonstrated as sensitive biosensors to detect in continuous the changes occurring in plant sap during plant growth, development and under stress conditions, will be combined with organic electronic ion pumps (OEIP) capable of delivering biomolecules to lifeguard cells with precise spatial and temporal control to form a hybrid device. An IoT-based technology will implement the OETC and OEIP action and will provide the farmer with the upcoming nematode attack of tomato roots. NAOMI2025 will deliver a new tool applicable for smart agriculture with a major impact on nematode management.

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