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3D printed plants help improve crops

3D printed plants help improve crops

By Jamie Martin

Modern plant breeding relies on data and AI to select the best traits. Scientists use "plant phenotyping" to gather information about plants, like size, shape, and growth. This information is used to develop AI breeding pipelines.

An important part of breeding is having good reference plants. These plants should have all the important characteristics that researchers are looking for. In the past, researchers relied on data or 2D images. However, a 3D model is more helpful because it captures the full structure of the plant.

Researchers in Germany used a special type of laser scanning called LIDAR to create a 3D model of a sugar beet plant. The data from the scan was then used to create a 3D printed model. This model can be used as a reference for AI breeding programs.

The 3D printed model is also freely available for anyone to download and print. This means that researchers around the world can use the same reference plant in their studies. This will make it easier to compare results from different studies.

This approach can also be used in developing countries because 3D printing is affordable. Scientists hope that this new method will help to develop better crops in the future.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-eugenesergeev

Categories: National

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