A combined root- and shoot-phenotyping solution for glasshouses, growth rooms, climate chambers, cultivation halls, or indoor farms
Challenges in root phenotyping
While most phenotyping solutions focus on above-ground traits of the plants, roots are usually hidden in soil and thus not accessible to measurements. To make them visible, specific cultivation measures are available. The Growscreen Rhizo uses soil-filled rhizoboxes placed at 45° angle that have a transparent plate where roots are visible for image recording. In collaboration with and under licence of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, LemnaTec offers the Growscreen Rhizo as combined root-and shoot- phenotyping system. Core component is an image acquisition cabinet with high-resolution cameras focused on the roots and the shoots of the plants. Thereby, classical shoot imaging is done simultaneously with precision root imaging. The cabinet is also equipped with dedicated illumination to enable optimal image recording.
Advantages of Growscreen Rhizo
We offer an automated root and shoot phenotyping system for soil-based systems that is superior to other methods that use artificial media for plant growth.
- Roots in soil – no artificial media required
- Soil-filled rhizoboxes at 45° angle
- Non-destructive – access to roots without digging or washing
- Time-course studies
- Root- and Shoot data for each plant
- High-resolution root imaging
- High-resolution shoot imaging
- Advanced analytical software, machine learning algorithms available
- Weighing and watering option
- Automation options
Roots and shoots of the growing plants are imaged with industry-grade high-resolution cameras, combined with advanced light technology that allows reflection-free image recording.
A balance and water supply system can be mounted for precise control of soil water content, enabling growth scenarios with different water availability.
Automation technology is available to move in and out the rhizoboxes so that experiments with repeated time-course measurements can be planned. Automation can be done with conveyer-based systems or with magazine automation technology, depending on the local requirements.
Software tools give access to shoot- and root- phenotypic traits such as growth and morphology. Root systems are characterised for root system depth and width and for spatial root distribution, together with root length and width data, rooting angles or total root area. Shoot systems are analysed for height, width, area, and morphological factors, together with colour data.
We recommend to record environmental data in the plant growth area, such as temperature, light, or air humidity. We offer recording systems that store the environmental data together with the phenotypic data of the corresponding plants.
A non-automated system – our PhenoAIxpert Root – is available, too!
Recommended for all plant species.
- The system can be mounted into greenhouses, growth rooms, and cultivation halls
- Magazine automation
- Conveyor automation
- Manual operation
References from the developers* at Forschungszentrum Jülich
Bauke SL, Landl M, Koch M, Hofmann D, Nagel KA, Siebers N, Schnepf A, Amelung W (2017) Macropore effects on phosphorus acquisition by wheat roots – a rhizotron study. Plant and Soil 371:179
Avramova V, Nagel KA, AbdElgawad H, Bustos D, DuPlessis M, Fiorani F, Beemster GTS (2016) Screening for drought tolerance of maize hybrids by multi-scale analysis of root and shoot traits at the seedling stage. Journal of Experimental Botany 67:2453–2466
Gioia T, Nagel KA, Beleggia R, Fragasso M, Ficco DBM, Pieruschka R, Vita P de, Fiorani F, Papa R (2015) Impact of domestication on the phenotypic architecture of durum wheat under contrasting nitrogen fertilization. Journal of Experimental Botany 66:5519–5530
Nagel KA, Putz A, Gilmer F, Heinz K, Fischbach A, Pfeifer J, Faget M, Blossfeld S, Ernst M, Dimaki C, Kastenholz B, Kleinert A-K, Galinski A, Scharr H, Fiorani F, Schurr U (2012) GROWSCREEN-Rhizo is a novel phenotyping robot enabling simultaneous measurements of root and shoot growth for plants grown in soil-filled rhizotrons. Functional Plant Biology 39:891.
*technology and algorithms used for the studies reported in the papers may differ from products in current LemnaTec offers – please contact us for details.
Plant carriers on conveyers
To ensure a high degree of homogeneity within treatment groups, LemnaTec’s MOVING FIELD uses conveyers to constantly move plants around in a predefined sequence. This also enables users to optimize plant density and simulate more realistic agricultural growing conditions resulting in more relevant research data.
In phenotypic studies there is an increasing demand for sensor-to-plant platforms, as it is preferable not to move the plants to avoid mechanical stress. For such applications, a motorized gantry can be fitted inside the greenhouse to transport sensors above the plants. The Greenhouse Scanalyzer Sensor-to-Plant can carry a variety of sensors that capture phenotypic properties and sensors for environmental factors.
Greenhouse Scanalyzer Sensor-to-Plant