The PowderBot is an automated device for drilling crop seed samples to extract seed powder for DNA extraction that enables researchers to reduce time and resources and accelerate the breeding process.


What does it do?

Device capable to extract seed powder of beans that work with following attributes:

• Manual plates (seed storage & DNA sample) positioning

• Automatic seed transportation

• Automatic seed grab

• Powder falls into correct tube

• Automatic cleaning of funnel

• Automatic positioning of sample tubes

• Automatic powder extraction

• Automatic position seed after powder extraction

• Web user interface

How fast?

• Plate (96 seeds)/30min

How often?

• 1.5mg – 3.5mg (Approx.) sample per seed

What quality?

• Cross contamination test (bc-3)

Cross contamination results

Cross contamination results
Cross contamination results

Seed powder extraction process, (A1) seed sampling capsule, (A2) seed ready to be perforated, (A3) 0.7 mm drill bit, (B) bean seed after hole drilling, (C) drill-hole depth (1.96 mm) on a bean seed, (D) seed drilled, (E) powder sample extracted.

In what context is this tool useful?

Seed DNA extraction is a valuable tool in plant breeding, genetics, seed quality analysis, molecular research, and genomics analysis. It contributes to our understanding of seed potential to improve efficiency in breeding processes, based on molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS). Plants can be identified and selected before planting, thus achieving more resources focused on better materials in the field. This process does not currently exist for this type of seed in the public, private or academic sectors, which opens great possibilities for implementation at the national and international level.


Researchers have harnessed DNA data to choose superior bean genotypes, thanks to the PowderBot's non-destructive seed sampling. Last year, research team processed over 5,000 samples in the Bean Genetics Lab. In 2023, they're adding ~3,000 more, boosting Bean breeding program's effectiveness. Research team success includes using the bc-3 marker for BCMV resistance. Plus, PowderBot passed tests on bean, maize, rice, and wheat seeds, providing both DNA samples and viable seedlings.


Jennifer Wilker – [email protected] (Principal Scientist)

Fabricio Soto - [email protected] (Technical Support)

PowderBot: graphical abstract

PowderBot 3D model

Bean seed perforated (~1.96mm of depth) using PowderBot

Bean seed perforated (~1.96mm of depth) using PowderBot

Wheat seed test

Wheat seed test

Bean seed plate

Bean seed plate

User Interface

User Interface