Table 2.

What Can We Dream Up?

A virtual plant to test hypotheses;;;;
“Plantized” yeast and animal cells as modelsAssmann et al. (1985); Quintero et al. (2002); Wu et al. (2011)
Nanobots that can take multiplexed measurements in the cell and report results to us or travel to parts of the plant that we can’t access and take measurementsAshley (2001); Hamilton and Gerngross (2007); Rodríguez-Escudero et al. (2005)
The plant “tricorder:” portable devices to scan a plant or plants in the field to obtain detailed physiological information. Can be arrayed to collect high-throughput population data. Similarly, a device that can fingerprint plant material to instantaneously identify the species.Wah Chang’s tricorder:; Waters (2011)
Genetic vehicles for transferring complex traits or even complete pathways to new contexts for plantsChan et al. (2010)