Phenotyping – do we measure the right parameters?

Whenever you supply or operate a phenotyping system, image recording and image processing are only tools to reach the goal, which is gaining information on the samples’ properties.

Thus, it is important to understand the measurement principles, specific sensor capabilities, and what conclusions one can draw from measured parameters to avoid over- or under-interpreting the measured data.
On the one hand, it is the task of technology suppliers to deliver robust and reliable solutions that generate data in a meaningful and reproducible way. Only with quality data users are able to correlate measured phenotypic parameters into biologically relevant data for their plant material. For technology suppliers, user feedback is highly important to ensure and improve functionality, so that employed solutions proof themselves as valuable tools and future products can be further optimized.

In the current paper (Herritt et al. 2020), the USDA reports on using a LemnaTec Field Scanalyzer for measuring Chlorophyll fluorescence in Sorghum, and figured out how to establish a measurement protocol for correctly measuring photosynthesis-related date using the phenotyping system. Biologically relevant data can be acquired automatically at large scale, so that screenings, e.g. in breeding programs are enabled.

Herritt M.T., Pauli D., Mockler T.C., Thompson A.L. (2020) Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging captures photochemical efficiency of grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in a field setting. Plant Methods, 16, 109.