News and Success Stories

Published 12 July 2023

Remote but not far off

California start-up InnerPlant has developed plants that glow in response to stressors such as attacks from pathogens, lack of nutrients or drought, through RNA sequencing. For the fluorescing plants to be useful to farmers, their glow needs to stand out from sunlight reflected off the leaves. So far, on-ground detectors have been successful in identifying the glowing plants in sunlit fields.

InnerPlants’ goal is to develop fluorescent responses strong enough to be seen from satellites in space which could mean hectare-level detection. The glowing sensors will help reduce the use of chemical pesticides, improve land-use via early detection, and grow healthy produce.

Could our crops be managed from afar and deliver what a crop needs by drone? See the Guardian Agriculture story above. If I combined those could I run my farm remotely?