Any experiment not performed in the field or a commercial greenhouse needs to simulate environmental conditions in order to fulfil experimental targets. For this reason, any phenotyping experiment strongly depends on an appropriate environmental simulation. While all simulations per se have shortcomings, one huge advantage is the high degree of time and spatial control they grant over the simulated conditions. Therefore, almost only experiments in environment simulation chambers, rooms or greenhouses allow an efficient identification and validation of plant development mechanisms and assessment of the relevance of a specific genetic background.
While climate control and light play a key role in any environmental simulation undertaken by growth room or greenhouse builders, the LemnaTec scanalyzer3D conveyor systems can add further highly significant modules for efficient environmental simulations.
Light, water and nutrients are essential parameters of environmental simulations, which are supported by LemnaTec scanalyzer conveyor systems
Contribution of LemnaTec conveyor systems to environmental simulation
- Environmental Simulation - watering with the LemnaTec watering and weighing module provides optimum monitoring and control of soil humidity levels.
- Precisely dosed nutrients can simulate fertilisation processes in the field.
- Shadowed pots and the good airflow below the pot level allow for the option to keep the soil temperature around the shoot reasonably below the air temperature.
- High plant densities in the moving field designs contribute to ecologically relevant light competition between the plants during growth. Plants are merely singled out for watering, randomisation and imaging.
- Automated randomisation of plants on the conveyor systems compensates for nearly inevitable gradients of environmental conditions (concerning light, temperature, wind speed, air humidity) by averaging out differences over time, which is quite similar to fluctuations in the field. Especially tests under high light and temperature conditions can be far more cost efficient if homogeneity does not need to be achieved by the minimisation of gradients (which can raise costs massively), but can be done by randomisation to average conditions over time.
- Movement of plants contributes to mechanic stimulation, as would happen in the field by wind.
- Spraying chambers can be used to simulate rain in cases where rainfall on leaves forms an important part of an experiment (e.g. for pesticide adhesion tests or for cleaning leaves from boron excretions).