Delivery of the Plant Phenomics Platform at McGill Department of Biology

Scanalyzer 3D and HTS Platform as rooftop installation

Together with the McGill Plant Phenomics group LemnaTec has designed a Scanalyzer 3D Plant Phenomics Platform plus a Scanalyzer HTS high precision phenotyping center to be installed on McGills rooftop Greenhouse

The combination of the two platforms ensures McGill Plant Phenomics Group has a unique ability, within a restricted rooftop footprint, to confront the phenotyping bottleneck. The Scanalyzer HTS provides specialized small plant and organism phenotyping via integrated software solutions coupled with sensors to perform:

 

  • Near Infared Scanning for water distribution (typically used in drought stress testing)
  • Infared Scanning (quantifying temperature differences between leaves and plants)
  • Fluorescence (visualizing specific fluorescence between 520 and 750 nbm such as chlorophyll content, GFP, etc)
  • RGB scanning for plant architecture, fingerprinting, health, pathogen/host and other disease studies
  • 3D laser scanning for ancillary plant architecture including height scanning on small plants with a resolution down to 0.2mm.

The LemnaTec Scanlalyzer 3D has been designed to complement the existing rooftop greenhouse delivering a phenotyping facility whereby researchers are able to load their crop model plants and then automatically screen them for desired traits.
LemnaTec was able to configure the ICT and hardware design for these platforms to:

  • Provide significant cost savings
  • Reduce system footprint
  • Address multi-plant species analysis requirements in line with the expanding research necessities of the Department of Biology.
     

The research infrastructure of the Department of Biology continues to grow. The latest acquisition of the Plant Phenomics Platform was made possible  by Professor Tom Bureau with a $2m grant from CFI. This allows researchers high-throughput measurement of complex phenotypic traits in plants and is among the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world. The total research support to Biology faculty reached $21.24m. This included large infrastructure grants from CFI, but grants from the major funding agencies (NSERC, CIHR and FQRNT) amounted to $6.08m. This is comparable to last year’s level and represents an increase of about 50% over the last five years.
 Installation of the rooftop systems in downtown Montreal was extremely challenging and only made possible by the close cooperation between McGill and LemnaTec to coordinate all aspects of the logistics and on-ground support.
 

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