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Optimization issues in phenotyping plateforms

  • Brestic, Marian
  • Rossi, André
  • Sytar, Oksana
  • Zivcak, Marek
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2019
Kaleidoscope Open Archive
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The combined effects of climate change and population growth have made agriculture appear as one of the most important challenge of the century. In order to be able to produce food for everyone in the coming decades, there is an urgent need to build more knowledge about plants, and how to grow them in a sustainable way, i.e., how to produce enough biomass without resorting to pollutant chemicals inputs. Hence, plant biologists need to understand what makes plants resistant to diseases, parasites, insects and hydric stress, among other environment effects. The functional plant body, called the phenotype, is the result of the combination of the plan genotype with the environment: two plants with the same DNA will not have the same development under different environment conditions. As the so-called \textit{plant performance} is the result of phenotype, a lot of effort has recently been devoted to study plants phenotype. More specifically, biologists run large scale experiments on hundreds or thousands of plants, for example to determine how resistant is a particular plant to a wide range of environment conditions. To this end, the plants are settled in pots, and these pots are moved by a conveyor belt from a cultivation chamber to different quantitative automated measurement stations, where RGB cameras, spectrography and other techniques are employed to monitor plants growth on a regular basis. The European project EPPN2020 aims at gathering a large number of such facilities to share experience and accelerate the research progresses in plant biology. It currently involves 31 plant phenotyping platforms and 21 partners across Europe from 12 countries (including the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra), under the coordination of INRA, with a budget of \euro 10 million for four years. It can be observed that the phenotyping platforms available in EPPN2020 and everywhere else in the world have a very similar structure.

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