Application example – Phenotyping cherry gene pools

Plant phenotyping with LemnaTec is much more than large-scale conveyor-based installations in greenhouses. At laboratory level, using manually operated imaging cabinets combined with powerful image processing, one can gain substantial data on plant phenotypic properties. In the current example, our customer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki used our LemnaGrid image processing package to analyze images of cherry leaves that they have acquired with a LabScanalyzer, the predecessor of our PhenoAIxpert.

In the study, the researchers compared leaf properties of a broad range of cherry varieties. Using the range of geometrical factors accessible in the LemnaGrid package, they achieved a phenotypic description of the leaves. This description bases on numerical values rather than descriptive words so that it is independent of any personal rating. LemnaGrid provides for instance Convex Hull Area, Calipher Length, or Compactness factors that refer to geometrical features of the measured objects. The object dimensions, here the leaf area, are complemented by these factors. The combination of various phenotypic factors enables a consistent description of the genetic diversity of the analyzed population. The coefficient of variation determined for the phenotypic traits was set into context with the genetic and epigenetic variation of the populations, which comprised breeding lines, landraces, modern cultivars, and wild varieties. With the possibility to capture phenotypes in a numerical manner, it becomes increasingly important to include such data into studies on crop diversity and performance.

The LemnaGrid software is a valuable tool that delivers numerical phenotypic data derived from nearly all types of images.

Cherry Tree

Leaves on a cherry tree

Avramidou E.V., Moysiadis T., Ganopoulos I., Michailidis M., Kissoudis C., Valasiadis D., Kazantzis K., Tsaroucha E., Tsaftaris A., Molassiotis A., Aravanopoulos F.A., Xanthopoulou A. (2021) Phenotypic, Genetic, and Epigenetic Variation among Diverse Sweet Cherry Gene Pools. Agronomy, 11, 680.

Exemplary view on the LemnaGrid graphical programming surface: setting up image analyses consisting of pre-defined functions that can be combined to image processing workflows.

The study was done using a LemnaTec PhenoAIxpert image acquisition system combined with LemnaGrid software. In the paper cited above, the system was named with the former name “Scanalyzer PL”; PhenoAIxpert is the successor product with updated hard- and software.

Detached leaves were imaged and images were processed with LemnaGrid.

The study exemplarily shows that in many cases phenotyping plant parts already gives good indication on the phenotype-genotype relation. Thus, not only large-scale automated phenotyping systems but also manually-operated phenotyping units provide high-class imaging and image processing. This is an important point to consider when planning for phenotyping studies. If space or budget set the limit, relevant data still can be gained using small-scale laboratory systems.

PhenoAIxpert cabinet