Regulating plant physiology with organic electronics

Many insights about hormone function have come from “spray and pray” studies, but generally the precision of application of the hormone limits their value. Poxson et al. describe an adaption of an organic electronic ionic pump (OEIP; developed originally for studies of mammalian cells) for introducing small quantities of the hormone auxin to a precise location. For use in these studies, the OEIP was adapted to incorporate hyperbranched polymers (dendrolytes) as a matrix. Auxin movement and release from the pump is controlled electronically. The authors demonstrated the effectiveness of IAA delivery through root growth rate and positive and negative reporters (35S::DII-Venus or DR5rev::GFP). This study demonstrates the potential for the application of OEIP technology toward plant research. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA