Combined multispectral and fluorescence imaging

Phenotyping does not stop at morphological analyses of plants, but it increasingly addresses the physiology. In physiology, signaling processes are key for controlling any steps in development or responses to the environment. When analyzing signaling, biosensor molecules frequently serve to visualize abundancy, localization, or interaction of biochemical compounds. Molecular plant research increasingly uses genetically encoded biosensors. One of the most used biosensors is GFP, of course. While imaging such reporters at cellular scale is well known, there is increasing demand for whole-plant imaging that visualizes presence of biosensors.

In an innovative approach, LemnaTec combines multispectral and fluorescence imaging. Using spectral and fluorescence imaging, we obtain physiological information from intact plants. With our advanced spectral imaging tool, we can excite the marker’s fluorescence and record the emission through a filter system. Thereby we can not only visualize the presence and localization of the biosensor, but we can quantify the light emission intensity as measure of the abundance of such sensors.

Broader speaking, we can combine classical morphological phenotyping with advanced physiological measurements at whole-plant level. Combined multispectral and fluorescence imaging is available for systems of the PhenoAIxpert family.


The example image shows a GFP-expressing Arabidopsis plant (right) compared to a non-transformed plant (left). The color coding displays recorded fluorescence intensities from blue (low) to red (high). After subtracting the background fluorescence as visible in the control plant, the remaining signal intensity is a measure for GFP abundance in the tissue.

The current measurement was done in cooperation with the University of Bonn, INRES, Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer and Dr. José Ugalde.