François TARDIEU about the The PhenoArch facility in Montpellier

PhenoArch is a phenotyping platform aimed at analysing the genetic determinisms of plant responses to environmental conditions in particular drought

François TARDIEU
PhenoArch
Directeur de Recherche INRA (DRE),
Professeur associé Montpellier Supagro
Responsable de l'équipe MAGE

...LemnaTec has provided us with an efficient prototype for handling, watering and imaging 1680 plants in a single experiment. This is the base for the development of an exciting facility for analysing the genetic determinisms of plant responses to environmental conditions. Because phenotyping is still in its infancy, a considerable work remains to be done in the development of tools for non-invasive environmental sensors at plant level, for functional imaging and for handling/mining the huge datasets generated by the platform. I strongly believe that the academic community involved in Phenotyping, seed companies, SMEs and LemnaTec can deal with these challenges via adequate partnerships, thereby contributing to fill the gap between genotype and phenotypes under precise climatic Scenarios.

See more detailed information of PhenoArch at their Website:

http://bioweb.supagro.inra.fr/phenoarch/index.php/en/


See the PhenoArch Video here:

Film shot at INRA Montpellier where scientists have a unique experimental platform at their disposal. It enables a simultaneous quantitative analysis of the behaviour of 1650 plants, cultivated in a greenhouse, that can highlight the most interesting traits to enable the selection and improvement of species of agronomic interest. This operation has been made possible thanks to exceptional funding from INRA and the support of the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Council and other partners (CNRS, CIRAD, Université Montpellier 2 and Montpellier SupAgro).

PhenoArch is a phenotyping platform aimed at analysing the genetic determinisms of plant responses to environmental conditions in particular drought, temperature and light. It is hosted in INRA – LEPSE, with users belonging to several groups in INRA and CIRAD.”

It is a versatile equipment, mainly dedicated as studying the natural genetic variability but can be also used for analysing large collections of transgenics. It has a Lemnatec base, with further developments. Its main features are :

  • A throughput of 1680 plants, i.e. the size of a panel for association genetics,
  • The control and precise measurement of environmental conditions as sensed by the plant with a time resolution of minutes,
  • Precise measurements of plant architecture, leaf area, size of individual organs, plant volume/biomass and transpiration rate. Measurements at a daily timestep are coupled with measurements of growth and transpiration over minutes.
  • An interface with models that allow disentangling the complexity of datasets, and to extract genotypic parameters that can be used afterwards for predicting the behaviour of studied genotypes in different climatic scenarios.

PhenoArch is aimed to be widely open to the scientific community. It is part of the French initiative Phenome, of the UE FP7 infrastructure project EPPN and of the international network IPPN.
More information can be found at: http://bioweb.supagro.inra.fr/phenoarch/index.php/en/

RS-USA-20120625