BGU and UC Davis researchers use AI to grow more resistant crops

The experts have focused on using artificial intelligence techniques to help identify cellular reactions that indicate how tomatoes and other crops handle different climate conditions.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 2, 2019 06:39
1 minute read.
Tomatoes

Tomatoes. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Can artificial intelligence help to grow more resilient tomatoes, paving the path to new ways to fight crop yield loss? According to a new study by an interdisciplinary group of computer and plant sciences experts at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and University of California, Davis, the answer is yes.

As explained in an article published in Nature's Communications Biology journal in June, the researchers have focused on using artificial intelligence techniques to help identify cellular reactions that indicate how tomatoes and other crops handle different climate conditions.

"The world is facing crop yield loss due to climate change, insects and other stresses," the researchers said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Identifying pathways that are activated in varieties of tomatoes or wheat that are more resistant to stress will enable farmers to make crops more robust. By identifying metabolic pathways targeted for nutraceuticals, we can also improve the nutritional value of crops," they added.

"Much of the information on known pathways that exists is often discovered through time- consuming, experimental processes," Rami Puzis, lead researcher and a member of the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering explained. "We hope that this faster computer-based approach to understanding how plants react to environmental (abiotic) stresses like climate change will help address food security and production issues."

According to the statement, the team has been able to find four new pathways.


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