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Leading Agriculture Research Technology

Solutions To Critical Problems
Raymond W. Schneider approached us with the need to detect fungal spores impacting agriculture. As a leading plant pathologist, Ray was the first to detect Asian soybean rust in America. He needed a reliable method to detect and study fungal spores like soybean rust that was superior to the existing methods. A high level of precision was needed in order to capture individual fungal spores for DNA analysis and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) imaging. To solve the problem we developed the Ionic Spore Trap.

Soybean rust

Principle of Operation
The solution we developed was simple, effective, and reliable. Running a negative airflow through the devise, the surrounding air is funneled through a cylinder and airborne particles are ionized by a high voltage precision needle. The airborne particles are collected on a SEM sampling disk through electrostatic deposition. After the desired sampling period, the operator can remove the sample and send it in qPCR analysis. This gives the operator a detailed understanding of the quantity and DNA characteristics of targeted fungal spores. Alternatively the sample can be used for a variety of other testing including SEM imaging to observe the physical characteristics of samples collected.  
Results With Reliability
Since it's initial use in soybean rust detection the Ionic Spore Trap application has expanded into numerous other applications. From powdery mildew detection to volcanic ash analysis, the Ionic Spore Trap has proved its functionality and design. To support these varied applications we also developed accessories such as remote power supplies and sampling trays to fit the expanded demands. The Ionic spore trap continues to be used in research from top universities and research institutions around the world. 

Ionic Spore Trap in use

Fungal spores under SEM

Universities Using the Ionic Spore Trap
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