LemnaTec proudly has finished the installation of a large-scale Growscreen Rhizo system inside the Plant Cultivation Hall of IPK Gatersleben. LemnaTec delivered this unique root- and shoot- phenotyping instrument, built under the exclusive license by Forschungszentrum Jülich
Root- and Shoot-Phenotyping system setup
The Growscreen Rhizo consists of 360 rhizotrons stored at 45° angle in four rows on an area of 26 m x 11 m. Each rhizotron has a size of 900 mm x 600 mm x 50 mm giving a large rooting space to the growing plants. Two imaging cabinets move along the rows and can pull in each rhizotron from the rows left and right of the cabinet. The imaging cabinets – each of them being 4 m tall – contains three high-resolution cameras, one pointing at the roots, a second one looking horizontally at the shoots, and a third one having top-down view on the shoots.
All cameras are combined with customized LED illumination. With this imaging setup, real whole-plant phenotyping is possible, and roots are no longer the “hidden half” of the plant.
Imaging, irrigation control, fertilization
The imaging systems delivers distortion-free high-quality photographs of the roots and shoots that are ready for phenotypic analysis without prior image enhancement. LemnaTec analytical software, including machine learning algorithms, is available for advanced feature extraction from root- and shoot- images.
Once moved into the imaging cabinet, each rhizotron is weighed and can be irrigated with LemnaTec’s sophisticated water- and fertilizer- supply system. An irrigation unit precisely delivers water or liquid fertilizer onto the soil surface. Thereby, two different liquid fertilizers or water can be applied depending on the choice of the operator.
Studies on environmental responses and genomic effects
The installation is located inside a large-scale climate-controlled room (Plant Cultivation Hall) that allows simulating environmental conditions during the plant growth. Thus, the plants growing in the LemnaTec Growscreen Rhizo are cultivated under conditions that are relevant for biological and agronomical research. This enables analyzing phenotype-environment responses at root- and shoot level using the state-of-the-art image recording technology combined with advanced illumination. Beyond environmental studies, genotype-phenotype analyses can be done, too.