Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Development of a plant tattoo for managing crop stress"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Summer 2017 - DURI
Research area(s):
Global food sustainability
Project Description:
Environmental stress, such as extreme temperatures and drought, is a constant challenge for farming. Developing commercial crop phenotypes with enhanced stress tolerance is of critical importance for the food industry. Precise records of past stresses and plant hormonal responses are important for understanding and developing phenotypes with enhanced stress tolerance. Such information, however, can only be obtained via a lengthy and complicated laboratory procedure. We thus plan to develop an injectable chromatic sensor based on polymeric materials. The sensor can be embedded into plant leaves as a “tattoo” and exhibit a visual color transition recording exposures or responses to stress conditions.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will prepare plant tattoos of different formula to demonstrate the feasibility of the developed plant tattoo in recording high temperature exposures and plant hormone concentration changes, respectively.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
GPA > 3.5 Organic and polymer chemistry preferred
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Yuan, Chongli
chemical engineering

Student Supervisor

Chongli Yuan
Associate Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Alex Wei