Utilizing peanut volatile organic compounds to quantify stress level during hydraulic redistribution


University of Florida

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Southeast (GA, FL, AL)

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Directly sensing drought stress in a plant is relatively difficult and is often assessed through indirect measurements, most frequently utilizing soil moisture. However, recent scientific efforts and advances have shown the volatile organic compounds (Voes) that are released from the plant canopy in gas form can be indicative of a host of stresses, including feeding from insects or drought stress. This information is currently not available for peanut, but could prove extremely helpful in managing drought in peanut production. Our preliminary evidence from NPB supported work in 2016 indicates that average voe signatures do differ among peanut plants under differential levels of water deficit stress. In this work, we developed a simple and quick collection of voes in the field that could ultimately be part of a stress sensing system utilized by a grower. Our work also quantified differences in voe signatures among diurnal cycles, helping us identify the optimal time of day for voe sampling. In the current proposed work, we aim to expand on these results to further refine the levels of drought stress and their associated patterns of voe emission during daily crop cycles.

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