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Customer reference: Phenotyping for better clothing

Cotton is one of the most important materials for clothing, and breeding cotton plants has enormous influence on both quality of the material and on the environmental impact of cultivation. Phenotypes matter for both aspects. They are relevant for the product quality and for the environmental relations of the plants, such as demand for fertilizer, water, or plant protection.

In a current publication issued by our customer, the University of Nebraska Lincoln, cotton plant phenotypes in response to drought are analyzed at structural and physiological levels. As cotton cultivation requires high amounts of water, water saving cultivars are highly demanded. Thus, breeding aims at plants better tolerating water shortage.

Data from visible light RGB cameras and from hyperspectral cameras were used to rate drought responses of the plants. Plants were grown in pots that were moved into imaging cabinets via a conveyor system in a LemnaTec 3D Scanalyzer system installed at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. The 3D Scanalyzer is the predecessor of the current PhenoAIxpert HT, and equivalent measurements can be done with PhenoAIxpert HT technology.
Phenotypic data enabled temporal and spatial assessment of the impact of drought on the plants’ development. RGB data served to follow growth time courses and morphological adaptations to drought situations. Hyperspectral images enabled assigning stress levels to the plant surface, so that stress progression could be assessed over time.

Cotton plant growth and development under water supplied (upper row) and drought (lower row) conditions.

Stress progression under drought analyzed with hyperspectral imaging: percentage of stress-indicating pixels.

Reference: Das Choudhury S., Saha S., Samal A., Mazis A., Awada T. (2023) Drought stress prediction and propagation using time series modeling on multimodal plant image sequences. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14.