Researchers from the Disruptive & Sustainable Technologies for Agricultural Precision (DiSTAP) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) have discovered a way to use Raman spectroscopy for early detection of shade avoidance syndrome (SAS) in plants. The discovery can help farmers with timely intervention against SAS, leading to better plant health and crop yield.
SAS is an adaptive response and an irreversible phenomenon, where plants reach for more light to overcome shaded conditions. It is commonly seen in plants experiencing vegetative shade which is detrimental to plant health, as it leads to a number of issues including hindrance of leaf development, early flowering and weakening of the plant’s structure and immune system.
Thus, early detection of SAS is key for sustainable agriculture and improved crop yield. However, existing methods for detection of SAS in