Digital plant phenotyping and digital seed testing provide advantage in knowledge.
Claiming such, we would like to point out the advantages by comparing the digital methods to non-digital phenotyping and seed testing. The non-digital methods are “traditional” measurements, assessments, or inspections where operators rate the sample material and note down their observations.
Of course, we would never presume that the esteemed experimenters would work careless, but it is general consent in human biology that errors occur unconsciously and fatigue comes with increasing working time, even if we try to work as accurate as possible.
|data acquisition||inspection by human||recording with digital technology|
|qualitative vs quantitative data||qualitative data dominates||quantiative data always accessible|
|accessible spectrum of data||information in the visible light range||visible and non-visible wavelengths, fluorescence|
|measurements to carry out at once||usually one||multiple|
|data types or parameters at one recording||one to few||multiple|
|data re-assessment||impossible, as acquisition takes place by noting down a status at moment||always, as acquisition is documented by image|
|throughput||depend on working capacity of inspector||determined by technical data|
|data acquisition quality||depend on current mood of inspector||standardised|
|comparability: time to time or location to location||low due to human factor||high due to standardised technical settings|
|data transfer||error-prone due to human writing or typing||reliable due to automatic transfer into database|
Thus, digital technology is a tool to assist the experimenter and to take over the boring and fatiguing part of the work.
The main advantage is that digital tools give access to a much broader range of data types and allow higher temporal and spatial density of data points.