A poster divided in eleven blocks entitled “Seeing drought-affected plants…in a whole new light!”.
- First block has a dry soil/terrain. The written content is: Climate change is leading to a hotter, drier world. To feed our growing population, we need to find ways to improve the yield of crops under drought and understand how plants respond to drought.
- Second block has three sunflower plants. One is healthy and has a happy face, another one has yellow leaves, and it is crying and the third is wilted with no face. The written content is: Plants in drought conditions start to show visible changes over time.
- Third block has a zoom in the plant leaf and stem. Inside them has two stick figures with ABA written on them holding a red flag and saying “Water shortage alert! Shut stomata asap! A-S-A-P!”. There is also a note to explain the ABA abbreviation. It means Absisic Acid, a signalling molecule. The written content is: But long before visible changes appear, levels of metabolites (chemicals like photosynthetic products and signalling molecules) within the plants begin to change. Metabolite levels are good indicators of the “stress levels” of a plant.
- Fourth block has a woman scientist removing pieces of the sunflower leaf and adding it to a mortar and pestle. The sunflower shows a painful expression. The words “destructive”, “slow”, “costly” are written around them. The written content is: Traditionally, metabolite levels were measured by biochemical assays.
- Fifth block has a woman scientist holding an equipment and scanning the sunflower leaf. The sunflower has a happy expression. The written content is: Hyperspectral leaf reflectance spectroscopy is a fast and non-destructive way to measure them!
- Sixth block has a graph showing different metabolites levels between two different plants. The written content is: Different metabolites are sensitive to different light wavelengths and show a unique spectral signature, using which their levels can be estimated.
- Seventh block written content is: By using Hyperspectral leaf reflectance spectroscopy to measure metabolite levels in real-time, we may be able to detect drought stress before visible signs show up!
- Eighth block has a sunflower, a courgette, a radish, a bell pepper, and a sorghum. The written content is: Burnett and colleagues tried this for various agronomic plant species…
- Nineth block has a greenhouse with healthy plants and drought plants. The written content is: …in glad house conditions…
- Tenth block has a woman scientist saying “It works” in an open field. The written content is: …and in open courgette fields!
- Eleventh block written content is: Using this technique, they could reliably measure drought stress in plants before visible changes appeared! This is extremely useful for monitoring and managing drought stress in plants. In the future, it could also be used for early detection and prevention of drought!
Footnote has the official SEB logo and the written content is: Article: Burnett, Angela C. et al. Detection of the metabolic response to drought stress using hyperspectral reflectance. Journal of Experimental Botany 72.18 (2021): 6474-6489. Artist: Kshiti Mishra. Funded through an outreach grant awarded to Ravindra Palavalli Nettimi and Krishna Anujan.