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Tran Daniel, Dutoit Fabien, Najdenovska Elena, Wallbridge Nigel, Plummer Carrol, Mazza Marco, Raileanu Laura Elena, Camps Cédric
Scientific Reports, 2019, vol. 9, art. no. 17073
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Living organisms have evolved complex signaling networks to drive appropriate physiological processes in response to changing environmental conditions. Amongst them, electric signals are a universal method to rapidly transmit information. In animals, bioelectrical activity measurements in the heart or the brain provide information about health status. In plants, practical measurements of bioelectrical activity are in their infancy and transposition of technology used in human medicine could therefore, by analogy provide insight about the physiological status of plants. This paper reports on the development and testing of an innovative electrophysiological sensor that can be used in greenhouse production conditions, without a Faraday cage, enabling real-time electric signal measurements. The bioelectrical activity is modified in response to water stress conditions or to nycthemeral rhythm. Furthermore, the automatic classification of plant status using supervised machine learning allows detection of these physiological modifications. This sensor represents an efficient alternative agronomic tool at the service of producers for decision support or for taking preventive measures before initial visual symptoms of plant stress appear.