PLANT DANCE

In collaboration with Bingyu Zhao (SPES), Jia-Bin Huang (ECE), and Ivica Ico Bukvic (SOPA)

Overview:
 

In this project, four Virginia Tech faculty members and their research groups will combine their interdisciplinary expertise to develop an innovative approach to observe or listen to plants in response to various stress stimuli, and design new agricultural practices to improve plant performance.
 
Collaborative Colleges:

 

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
School of Performing Arts
College of Engineering
Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
 
Areas:

 

Life Science
Agriculture
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sonification
Visualization
 
Goals and Objectives:

 

We will develop an accurate and efficient platform for visually and audibly monitoring plant movement and identify ways in which sonification can prove helpful in optimizing existing algorithms. We will also test if certain sound vibrations can improve plant growth.
 

Project Summary: 
 

World population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Climate change is making the traditional agricultural practice increasingly difficult. To address the looming food crisis, we need to develop revolutionary agriculture techniques along with new crop plants that can double or triple the crops yields with less arable lands. Plant genetic improvement relies on the knowledge of crop genome or genes and the observation of plant phenotypes controlled by an individual gene or a cluster of genes. The rapid progress of high throughput genome sequencing allows us to sequence almost all major crop or vegetable plant genomes. However, for many plant species, more than 40% plant genes have no known biological functions. Developing novel methods to observe subtle phenotypes conditioned by the given gene(s) is currently highly demanded. 
 

In this project, four Virginia Tech faculty members and their research groups will combine their interdisciplinary expertise to develop an innovative approach to observe or listen to plants in response to various stress stimulus, and design new agricultural practice to improve plant performance. Dr. Bingyu Zhao is a plant geneticist and molecular biologist. Dr. Jia-Bin Huang is an expert in computer vision and machine learning; Dr. Ico Bukvic is a leader in sonification techniques to represent movement data through sound.