Functional Genomics

Exponentially increase

The development of genomics over the last few years has resulted in a set of core technologies that enable an almost exponentially increase in the generation of information on the genetic background of plants. Based on high-throughput genotyping and gene sequencing, the availability of genetic data related to specific plants has reached a point where the mapping of entire genomes is merely a question of weeks. The advances in plant genomics can now be complemented by high-throughput plant phenomics, using LemnaTec scanalyzerHTS systems for small plants like Arabidopsis and scanalyzer3D systems for bigger plants up to maize and sugar cane sizes. In all cases, high-resolution phenotyping data on plant growth and development is generated in abundance, that can be used to find similarities or differences within or between the Phenome of different Genotypes. 


In this evaluation the phenotype was characterized by using the growth rate of different plants over time. The plant growth was modeled for all 10 different genotypes in fivefold replicates using a three parameter function for top and side view. Therefore each genotype can be represented by 6 different parameters characterizing his growth performance over time in side and top view. Any parameters such as compactness, circumference, or height and width can be used to create such a phenomic fingerprint.

Comparing different phenomic fingerprints
Heat map

To show the statistical significance of the differences the lower and upper 95% confidence interval of the average growing parameters for each genotype have been calculated. When comparing different phenomic fingerprints by eye it is easy to roughly say wich plants perform similar or different.

To quantify differences or similiarities between different genotypes simple distance metrics can be used to compare the extracted parameters. Similar to genetic approaches a heat map can be created to visualize how similar the phenomic fingerprint of the different genotypes are.

Comparison in a single diagram

The most different fingerprint can be easily compared in a single diagram to show their difference in plant behavior. Although the resulting size might be similar the Scanalyzer 3D was capable of detecting significant difference in growth behavior.