Plant Phenotyping

Plant phenotyping is the quantitative analysis of plant form, growth and performance. It's essential for crop production, genetic improvement and precision agriculture applications alike.

Recent advances in non-destructive, image analysis phenotyping have seen remarkable progress. Modern installations now include environmental simulation centers, greenhouses and field phenotyping systems.

What are the advantages of plant phenotyping?

Plant phenotyping is the quantitative analysis of plant growth and development. This information can be used to create new cultivars, enhance crop performance, or identify the effects of environmental factors on a plant.

It can also help detect weeds at an early stage in a field. Digital phenotyping platforms on tractors, drones or robots can image every inch of a field day or night to detect and eliminate any weed species present.

These methods can be remarkably precise and have a high throughput. Platforms like these can measure height, fresh and dry weight, color, and other characteristics with ease.

They can provide information about the amount of water and nutrients in a plant, which is vital for its overall wellbeing. Furthermore, these methods offer insights into how well plants cope under stress like extreme temperatures or drought conditions.

Research in plant phenotyping has become a cornerstone topic within basic and applied plant sciences over the past decade. It has inspired an expansive dialogue among scientists, breeders, agricultural industry executives, funding agencies, and policymakers, further deepening our comprehension of how plants adapt to their environment.

What are some methods used for plant phenotyping?

Plant phenotyping is an approach that analyzes plant growth and development to gain insight into the genetic and environmental elements that shape plant development and yield. This data allows scientists to make educated decisions regarding breeding programs and crop management practices.

Plant phenotypic traits such as chlorophyll in leaves and seed germination rate reflect plant ability to tolerate abiotic stress (diseases, insects, drought and salt). A variety of imaging techniques can be employed for plant phenotyping purposes.

Visible imaging is the most widely used type of plant imaging, used to capture images. From these photos, phenotypic details such as biomass, leaf number and area can be extracted.

Another popular technique is spectral imaging, which utilizes various wavelengths of light to study plant phenotypic responses. Each part of a plant has specific absorbance, reflectance and transmittance properties that can be measured through imaging.

This technology is highly effective and can be employed for phenotyping a wide variety of plants. It measures traits like leaf greenness, root growth and vascularization – making it an invaluable aid in plant breeding as well as precision agriculture applications.

Why is plant phenotyping important?

Plant phenotyping is an integral component of modern genetic crop improvement, using DNA and molecular markers [1]. Phenotypes can be described as complex traits related to growth, yield and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses at various scales from organs to entire plants.

Recently, several invasive (in-situ) and non-invasive image analysis-based methods have been utilized for plant phenotyping. Unfortunately, these are susceptible to human conformation bias, and cannot handle the vast amounts of data involved in plant phenotyping.

In order to effectively and reliably screen for disease resistance or stress tolerance in plant breeding, an efficient phenotyping database is necessary. Thus, significant and concerted action must be taken in order to expedite development of these infrastructures and increase their accessibility.

To identify and comprehend the research structure surrounding plant phenotyping, a quantitative bibliometric map was constructed based on scientific publications. Utilizing this methodology, an analysis was conducted for plant phenotyping between 1997 and 2017 (Figure 1).

This paper analyzes the evolution of plant phenotyping literature in comparison to other disciplines, such as genomics (Nardi et al., 2016), proteomics, Mediterranean forest research and precision agriculture. The trends are visualized on maps showing published plant phenotyping publications worldwide and within EU countries.

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