- Collaboration on world’s first cannabis organic compound sensor
- Allows early attack detection, letting growers nip problem in bud
- Sensor integrated into GrowerIQ’s cultivation platform
TORONTO, July 9, 2019 /CNW/ – GrowerIQ, a seed-to-sale technology and cannabis cultivation platform provider, and Dr. Tina Kasal-Slavik, a chemical ecologist at the Free University of Berlin, announced an agreement to commercialize the world’s first sensor based on cannabis plant chemicals. The sensor decodes plant messages about afflictions before obvious visual symptoms, allowing growers enough warning to prevent widespread crop loss.
GrowerIQ will assist in the development of the sensing algorithm and provide an evaluation opportunity through trial deployment across a select group of cannabis clients. Dr. Kasal-Slavik will provide plant science knowledge to identify detected compounds.
GrowerIQ COO Andrew Wilson stated, “The commercial impact of this early warning system cannot be overstated. Pest and mould or mildew infestations regularly impact crops. Waiting until the infestation is large enough to notice is too late. These crop loss events are very expensive.”
According to Master Grower Shlomo Booklin, “Due to the crop’s medicinal nature, we are restricted in chemical use. Early detection is critical, since this cuts pesticide use dramatically. We want to address issues before uncontrolled infestations! That’s why Dr. Tina’s technology is a game-changer.”
For Dr. Kasal-Slavik, possible applications are endless, “This method can be applied to different plant species in very early stages of stress. It has the potential to lead to pesticide-free greenhouse plant production.”
Plants under duress communicate by sending/receiving specific chemicals. These messages contain clues about both attackers and severity. Minutes after an aphid attack, a host-plant releases a multipurpose chemical message alerting other organisms that it’s being fed upon. If picked up by neighbouring plants, this message is interpreted as a warning to prepare. If received by a predatory ladybug, it’s interpreted as a ringing dinner bell to a nearby aphid feast.
Dr. Kasal-Slavik discovered we can decode these messages to gain insight. It’s possible to evaluate plant health before any obvious visual symptoms of attack. This can be used to build an early warning system, alerting growers to infected plants.
These sensors will be integrated into GrowerIQ’s platform, adding more tools to the cultivator’s toolbox.
GrowerIQ is a compliant cannabis cultivation management platform, designed in partnership with Master Grower Shlomo Booklin. The first platform to integrate all facility systems, including sensors, controls, QMS, and ERP, into a single interface. Insights from Shlomo’s 30+ years of agronomist experience were built into the software. GrowerIQ leverages proprietary machine learning technology to automate your facility and provide quality boosting cultivation insights. GrowerIQ changes the way cultivators use software – transforming a regulatory requirement into a platform to learn, analyze, and improve crop performance.
ABOUT DR. TINA KASAL-SLAVIK
Tina is a postdoctoral researcher at the Molecular ecology department at the Free University of Berlin, where she investigates plant-insect interactions. She recognized that plant chemicals could be understood as part of plant communication, so her focus remains on developing a biotic stress early warning system for plants.
ABOUT SHLOMO BOOKLIN
Shlomo, GrowerIQ’s Master Grower, is a recognized cannabis expert, having worked on numerous large-scale international projects, including some of the biggest names in Canadian cannabis. Shlomo is an approved RPIC, with security clearance from Health Canada. Insights from Shlomo’s decades of commercial cultivation experience were incorporated into the GrowerIQ platform.