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GrowerIQ Develops World's First Biotic Sensor for Crop Loss Prevention

By Enterprise Technology Review | Thursday, July 25, 2019

GrowerIQ and Dr. Tina Kasal-Slavik, together, are developing the world's first cannabis organic compound sensor to warn growers and prevent crop loss.

Fremont, CA: GrowerIQ, a seed-to-sale technology and cannabis cultivation platform provider, is commercializing the first ever sensor on cannabis plant chemicals, in collaboration with Dr. Tina Kasal-Slavik, a chemical ecologist at the Free University of Berlin.

The sensor is designed to decode plant messages with regard to affictions before the apparent visual symptoms. This gives growers a warning to avoid crop loss. The company will help Dr. Kasal-Slavik with the development of the sensing algorithm and will also evaluate the same through a trial deployment by a select group of clients. Dr. Kasal-Slavik will be providing the plant science knowledge for detection of compounds in the cannabis.

Plants that are under any sort of threat communicate by sending or receiving certain chemicals. These can be interpreted as messages, and they can be decoded to get information on both the attackers and the severity of the threat. A few moments after an aphid attack, the host plant sends out a multipurpose chemical message warning to the other organisms, which it's being fed upon. The message is then picked up by the neighboring plants. The message, sometimes, also gets picked up by predatory bugs that interpret them as a dinner bell for a good aphid feast.

GrowerIQ, partnered with leading grower Shlomo Booklin, is a compliant cannabis cultivation management platform. The company designed the first platform, which can integrate all facility systems, such as QMS, ERP, controls and sensors, all in a single interface. GrowerIQ employs their proprietary machine learning technology to automate facilities, which helps in providing accurate boosting cultivation insights.

As a postdoctoral researcher at the Molecular Ecology Department at the Free University of Berlin, Dr Tina Kasal-Slavik investigates plant-insect interactions. Her aim has been to develop biotic warning systems for plants, since she found out that plant chemicals can be interpreted as plant communication.

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