Fitness-SCREEN

Source: EUS

Within the framework of the German Plant Phenotyping Network (DPPN), funded by the Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), we have set up an integrated "plant-to-sensor" system for the phenotyping of whole plants, i.e. of roots and shoots, in a newly built greenhouse. With this system we offer the possibility to investigate the mechanistic and dynamic interactions between plants and microbes (pathogens) on a variety of geno(pheno)types using non-invasive methods. In particular, the system is suited to investigate the linkage of genotypic variation (G) with environmental (E) and stress-related (e.g. microbes, M) phenotypic variations (G x E x M).

Fitness-SCREEN consists of two experimental units, each of which has a transport and storage unit for pot cultures (shoot) or for rhizotrons (root + shoot) with a corresponding measuring chamber. On the rhizotron side we can cultivate up to 120 rhizotrons, while on the other side we have space for a total of 200 pots. The plants are stored in sections located to the left and right of the measuring chambers. A shuttle line at the top of the storage zones enables the transport of the rhizotrons / pots to the respective supply units or to the measuring chambers. An irrigation station is located at the top of each storage section. The change of the transport directions from the storage to the shuttle line or to the measuring chambers and the shuttle line is controlled by a transfer unit.

The measuring chambers are equipped with multispectral 3D imaging systems to monitor global phenotypic traits of the plant and optical properties, such as greeningness, NVDI (normalized vegetation index), PRI (photochemical reflection index) etc., of the leaves. The measuring chamber for the rhizotrons also contains a photo station with a high-resolution b/w CCD camera to record the root system of the plants.