Tattoos For Plants


Autumn Lee, Journalist

Recently a man named Ling Dong led a team of scientist at Iowa State University to develop a new form of technology; that enables plant breeders to determine which plants are more likely to survive in a drought. This technology is essentially a sticker, a “plant tattoo” made of graphene, (a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon.) This sticker detects a change in electrical current. This data enables scientist to gather information that tells how fast a plant can soak up water. It is important for plant breeders to know this because as the Earth continues to heat up drought becomes more common.

They first used a plastic mold to porn their graphene solution into. He waited for this to dry into flakes and then used a tape to pull up the individual pieces. The team used a special graphene called graphene-oxide because when in contact with water its electric current slows down. This graphene allows researchers to determine the amount of water a plant is taking up and will prove useful in choosing parent plants for breeding next generations. They first tested this prototype on corn plants the results proved that the invention was successful at achieving its purpose.

This technology and method at determining water take up has proven successful and will be an effective way at preventing drought from affecting plants.