PhenoFab® – Digital phenotyping applications in plants

Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM
Room: Pacific Salon 1
Edwin van der Vossen , KeyGene, Wageningen, Netherlands
As genotyping is becoming more of a commodity, the bottleneck in functional marker development is more and more shifted towards phenotyping. Our PhenoFab® facility in Wageningen aims to address this through digital phenotyping. The PhenoFab setup focuses on a robust phenotyping platform in a greenhouse setup that allows for digital phenotyping as an approach to acquire more precise phenotypic data. Research at our facility that targets many different applications and traits, shows that digital phenotyping indeed enables high-resolution and real time measurement of plant growth and stress, both above ground and below ground, thereby helping to bridge the resolution gap that currently exists between genotyping and phenotyping. The phenotyping is based on (a combination) of imaging technologies and uses the potential of a track that moves all plants fully automated through the greenhouse compartment and scanning areas. The plants grow in individual containers and are imaged at pre-set points in time and from different angles. Subsequently custom made software and powerful statistical methods are developed and used to extract and interpret the digital images into meaningful data. Applications where digital phenotyping was already successfully applied include (amongst others) plant growth variation analysis, root morphology variation analysis, disease screening, plant architecture, several fruit characteristics. Several of these applications and the link to genetics, and ultimately to genes, will be outlined in the presentation.