Development of High Throughput Plant Phenotyping Facilities in Aberystywth
There is a need to develop high throughput plant phenomics to bridge the phenotype-genotype gap that will lead to the improvements in crop performance necessary to feed the growing world population. The facility under development at Aberystwyth will be based around automated non-destructive image analysis using a Scanalyzer 3-D HTS system developed by LemnaTec running in a new glasshouse complex. A central advantage of the approach is that it is inherently non-destructive, allowing repeated measurements to be made on individual plants in a pre-programmed sequence through time with minimal operator intervention. The system is flexible, designed to cope with small plants such as forage grasses, forage legumes, Brachypodium and Arabidopsis, and also with larger plants such as oats, wheat, barley, maize and Miscanthus. The plant phenomics facility will be closely linked to both chemical phenotyping and genotyping facilities in Aberystwyth and integrates with field trials and public good plant breeding. Use of the facility will accelerate the selection of appropriate germplasm for breeding varieties which will perform robustly under the conditions predicted for the UK and beyond in the future. Furthermore, it will provide a focus for trans-disciplinary research to facilitate the discovery of the genetic and environmental bases for variation in complex traits that underpin the major global challenges for food and energy security, water utilization and adaptation to a changing climate.
see a video of the facility here: