Agriculture and reforestation: Bioinspired seed carrier improves on nature. Aerial seeding is a crucial way to cover large and otherwise inaccessible areas, and can facilitate post-fire reforestation or wildland restoration. However, when a seed lies on the surface, it can be damaged by weather conditions or eaten by wildlife, resulting in low germination rates. Seeds of various grass species can self-bury, an ability that would be advantageous if applied to different seed types. A new biodegradable seed carrier design inspired by the self-drilling behaviour of Erodium seeds is described in a paper in Nature. The seed carrier has a higher implantation success rate than that of Erodium seeds. This technology may improve the effectiveness of aerial seeding to address agricultural and environmental stresses in degraded regions.
Authors: Danli Luo, Aditi Maheshwari, Andreea Danielescu, Jiaqi Li, Yue Yang, Ye Tao, Lingyun Sun, Dinesh K. Patel, Guanyun Wang*, Shu Yang*, Teng Zhang*, Lining Yao*.