Assessing Volatile Organic Compounds as a Measure of Crop Health

Plants produce a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) quickly in response to various growing conditions and plant stressors. These compounds are released well before there are any obvious signs of stress, such as wilting or loss of chlorophyll. Blueberry and other crops with thicker leaves, are slow to show obvious signs of stress and therefore are more prone to reduced crop quality and quantity than other field crops. As a first step to developing an unmanned crop monitoring device, we will be measuring VOCs produced during crop stress and measuring changes in these VOCs during the growing season, as the stress levels increase.

Larissa Richards
Faculty Supervisor: 
Erik Krogh
British Columbia
Partner University: