ICTs FOR PLANT DISEASE DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS
Providing ICTs to remote and rural communities has a great potential in mitigating poverty and improving the socio-economic status of the beneficiaries. To reach such objectives, the EWA-BELT Project is applying two ICT tools: PLANTHEAD and qPCR.
The main goal of this task is establishing a remote PLANTHealth Diagnostic (PLANTHEAD) network in Eastern and Western Africa. The proposed PLANTHEAD network is based on the World Food and Health Security e-Center (HFSeC) Platform, which was first designed by OCCAM. The PLANTHEAD network will be based on Internet of Things (IoT), wearable technologies and mobile devices and consists of three main elements: Service (End) Users; Service Providers, and a Digital Platform. Some novelties will be introduced: a capillary diffusion in remote rural areas; the possibility to use any system: desktop, tablet and mobile, via WEB with Smart Data Integration through images, text and voice recognition, with geolocation; profiled users with secure access and data history tracking; web database to store any sort of information and georeferenced data entry with geo-visual data navigation; centralized data collection, validation and sharing, with user permission and restriction and workflow notification engine; integration with all external data sources, interoperability with external tools and scalable in functionalities; interoperability with IoT and intelligence services.
OCCAM, UNISS, ACRA, ST, UNB, INERA, UNIMAK CSIR-SARI, KDC, KALRO, UoN, NM-AIST, TARI, HU, JU
Development of an easy sample preparation procedure to extract DNA sample compatible with qPCR from the typology of raw specimen available in the project and provided to ST by other partners. Optimization of qPCR reaction mixtures on the platform starting from applications’ targets (including primers and probes) suggested by participating partners and using commercially available product. Fine-tuning of qPCR thermal protocol and optical parameters and validation: optimization tests will be performed analyzing samples processed with the developed sample preparation procedure and using the defined qPCR reaction mixtures. The objective will be to determine the best reaction parameters, in terms of maximum sensitivity and specificity, in detecting the EWA-BELT target applications with the BIO2BIT® platform. After the optimization phase, performances of the test will be validated against a gold-standard qPCR instrument. As a preliminary step, crops of interest were identified: maize, durum wheat, sorghum, peanut, and coffee.
STMicroelectronics, UNISS, OCCAM, UoN, and potential future involvement of other African partners