Phenomics is the study of how the genetic makeup of an organism determines its appearance, function, and performance. Phenomics speeds up phenotyping of plants by using automated, high-tech imaging systems and computing power. Depending on the trait, phenomics techniques can cut phenotyping time down from weeks to minutes, or even seconds.
We develop Plant Phonemics Facility with a state of the art system that focuses on high throughput analyses of growth and function of a wide range of plant material. Users can screen material for specific attributes using one or more of the modules housed in the facility. This mode of the facility focus on flexibility from cereals to dicots and woody perennials at all stages of development.
The climate with respect to the amount of light and intensity, day and night length, temperature, Carbon dioxide, and humidity is controlled in the growth chambers as per the requirement of the researchers.
Researchers can change or control the growth conditions and parameters inside the cabinets by android phones from the places having internet connectivity.The information is sent through the mobile phone network to a server, allowing researchers to monitor the growth of their crops without actually visiting the facilities. This saves daily visits to facilities, which is especially useful if the facility is in a far off area. The data is password secured to maintain the secrecy of the data.
The system gets measurements on plants grown in a greenhouse that are moved automatically by a conveyor system to a range of imaging systems that record their physical characteristics. Each plant container in the system is individually identifiable, allowing imaging, watering and nutrition to be individually programmed and recorded. All measurements are stored in a database. The facility will aid researchers in conducting studies that will help in the development of new plant varieties that would answer the increasing global concerns on climate change and food security. Coupled with gene analysis technologies, Phenomics has the potential to revolutionize the ways to tackle key issues in plant and agricultural biology.
Technical specifications of the PlantScreen phenotyping system comprise detail description of:
1. Transport system from the cultivation compartments to phenotyping rating stations and back
2. Weighing and watering application stations
3. Rating stations
- Chlorophyll fluorescence with adaptation tunnel
- High resolution colour camera for morphometric analysis
- Thermal camera
- NIR camera for root and shoot water status assesment
- Hyperspectral VNIR and SWIR camera
- Weight and watering stations with multiple peristaltic pumps for precise nutrient delivery
- Unit for 3D visual high resolution imaging
4. Control operation station
5. Integrated software package for system control and data management
6. Future expansions and adaptation for new experimental designs
7. Rating part content measuring station
8. Optional: Cultivation environment observation Software specifications for the PlantScreen phenotyping system comprise of:
9. PlantScreen Server - main machine control software
10. PlantScreen Client - program GUI between machine and user
11. PlantScreen Tray Registrator
12. PlantScreen Analyser – database data viewer
13. PlantScreen Database - MySQL database
14. Special software for each image stations