LemnaTec Growscreen Rhizo – the future of root phenotyping at IPK Gatersleben

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.

Growscreen Rhizo fertiliser supply tanks and distribution system

Growscreen Rhizo fertiliser supply tanks and distribution system – flexible choice of media and plant treatment agents

Growscreen Rhizo precision water and fertilizer supply

Growscreen Rhizo precision water and fertilizer supply – accuracy down to 10 ml liquid supply on 27,000 ml soil volume

Growscreen Rhizo system at IPK Gatersleben

Growscreen Rhizo system at IPK Gatersleben – the world’s largest system of this type

Barley growing in Growscreen Rhizo

Barley growing in Growscreen Rhizo

Growscreen Rhizo imaging cabinet and rhizotron carriers

Growscreen Rhizo imaging cabinet and rhizotron carriers. The compact cabinet combines root and shoot imaging with rhizotron weighing, water and fertilizer supply.

Growscreen Rhizo movable imaging cabinet

Growscreen Rhizo movable imaging cabinet. The cabinet passes along the stored rhizotrons and takes them in for measuring at high throughput – the system measures 360 rhizotrons in one run.

Top view of barley shoots - Growscreen Rhizo

Top view of barley shoots – image taken with the Growscreen Rhizo imaging cabinet – advanced shoot imaging

Side view of barley shoots - Growscreen Rhizo

Side view of barley shoots – image taken with the Growscreen Rhizo imaging cabinet – distortion-free image for phenotypic analysis

Barley roots in rhizotron - Growscreen Rhizo

Barley roots in rhizotron – image taken with the Growscreen Rhizo imaging cabinet – unrivaled high quality image of root system

Growscreen Rhizo imaging cabinet
2019-10-23T15:33:15+00:00