Development of a Biosensor for Sclerotinia Stem Rot Disease Forecasting in Canola

Agronomy Research  Diseases 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Xiujie Susie Li - InnoTech Alberta
Kelly T. Turkington - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Lacombe), Jian Yang - InnoTech Alberta, Jie Chen - University of Alberta
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, Canola Council of Canada
Project Ongoing...

Research Objective

  • Complete the transition of spore detection technology/device from a large instrument to an user-friendly device
  • Identify the pattern between disease severity and spore number under controlled and field environments
  • Test the technology in the field before future public use

Project Description

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a very important disease for canola and the forecasting tools used for it are not optimized. There needed to be a method that would not be labor intensive for producers but would also provide accurate data in real time so that a producer could make an informed decision for their timing of fungicide applications. This study proposes to use a biosensor that will be in the field and send real-time data via Bluetooth to an electronic device (cell phone). The goal is to have the device formatted as a portable chip and field-tested to see if the spore population predictions were similar with the actual field spore populations. This technology would be beneficial for every canola producer and help with the efficiency of knowing what is going on in their fields to make decisions regarding fungicide applications.

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