Seed mass and dimensions are key factors for seed quality and for seedling development. In practical applications, such factors frequently are approximated by using scanning methods delivering 2D data (e.g. projected area), that are referred to as seed size. Measuring seed 3D traits or seed mass of single seeds delivers higher degrees of accuracy to determine seed properties.
To address this issue, we – LemnaTec together with Forschungszentrum Jülich – have introduced the phenoSeeder platform (Jahnke et al., 2016) which enables handling and phenotyping of individual seeds of very different sizes. Whereas many traditional methods work on seed batches, the phenoSeeder gives access to single seed data and is therefore suitable for seed-to-plant tracking.
The phenoSeeder has a 2D imaging unit as standard configuration, and we offer 3D imaging and seed weighing as optional accessories; moreover, the modular design gives space for adding further sensing equipment. For weighing, highly sensitive balances (e.g. for Arabidopsis seeds) are available, as well as balances dedicated for most crop seeds (wheat, rapeseed etc.).
The phenoSeeder not only characterizes the seeds depending on the configuration, it equally allows placing the seeds in a coordinated manner. Thereby, seeds can be sorted basing on the measured properties, or they can be placed into pots for growing or onto paper for germination tests. Thereby, the placed seeds and the resulting plants are immediately connected to the seed phenotypic properties, such as dimensions and weight.
Phenoseeder basic configuration
|2D Imager||Seed projected area, length, width, morphology, colour|
|Phenoseeder optional technical features|
|3D Imager||Seed volume, 3D morphology|
|Standard balance||For most crop seeds|
|High sensitivity balance||For minute seeds, e.g. Arabidopsis|
|Specific racks for seed placing||Upon request|
References from the developers at Forschungszentrum Jülich
Jahnke S, Roussel J, Hombach T, Kochs J, Fischbach A, Huber G, Scharr H (2016) phenoSeeder – A Robot System for Automated Handling and Phenotyping of Individual Seeds. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 172:1358–1370
Roussel J, Geiger F, Fischbach A, Jahnke S, Scharr H (2016) 3D Surface Reconstruction of Plant Seeds by Volume Carving: Performance and Accuracies. Front. Plant Sci. 7:745
The Germination Scanalyzer can analyze coated and uncoated seeds of various plant species differing in size, colour and shape. Classification and quantification of seed characteristics based on predefined criteria (number, size, colour, and shape) include:
- Seed morphological parameters (size, roundness)
- Seed colour and colour distribution
Detection of seed germination
The central purpose of the GERMINATION SCANALYZER is detecting and quantifiying the seed germination. Every seed with a detected root segment (within the observation radius) is marked as germinated. To optimize root detection, a number of rules are applied, for example, proximity aspect, region of interest and germination cues.
The length of the root is measured on the basis of the medial axis of the detected root shape. Results can be reported in different formats, according to user requirements, and statistically analyzed.
The following parameters are measured in the germination assay:
- Percentage of seed germination
- Germination time (in time series analysis)
- Seedling morphological parameters (root length, hypocotyl length; depending on visibility)
- Seedling colour and colour distribution
The germination assay can be run in a manually operated Lab Scanalyzer, too.
Example for large scale automated system
- Capacity 840 trays (each tray 253 mm x 364 mm)
- All 840 trays can be imaged once every 6 hours
- 1 x 28 MP RGB camera, 2 x LED light panels
- Each tray can be weighed to assess water content
- Trays can be loaded from trollies (68 trays per trolley)
- Height 3145 mm, Length 6432 mm, Depth 2910 mm
- Fully automated storage, handling and imaging
|Camera||Visible light camera|
|Automation||Shelf operating system for tray movement|
|Control||Dedicated Windows PC plus database server|
|Software||Process & experiment control, Germination detection and quantification, Data processing and export|
|Options||Scale for tray weight|
unusual but maybe possible