Images above by Erica Seccombe, courtesy of the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre.


One of the new tools used by Edgar Spalding, principal investigator for the Phytomorph project at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is a robotic camera that photographs growing seedlings and roots at regular intervals, with micron-level precision.


Companies such as Germany-based LemnaTec have developed systems for phenotyping individual plants in large, robotic greenhouses. Using technologies combining photography, fluorescence imaging, 3D image analysis, and data handling, thousands of individual plants can be grown and automatically tracked through their development. A conveyor constantly moves potted plants around the greenhouse and through a series of scanning chambers. Photo by LemnaTec.


This high-throughput phenotyping system developed at the USDA Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, AZ is being used to collect plant height, canopy temperature, and canopy reflectance data from cotton plants. Photo by Michael Gore.


Researchers at CSIRO use a remote-controlled gas-powered model helicopter called the “phenocopter” to measure plant height, canopy cover, lodging, and temperature throughout a day. Pictured here are Scott Chapman (left), a principal research scientist at CSIRO, and Torsten Merz, developer of the phenocopter.


Plant height data collected by the near-infrared camera on the phenocopter can be used to estimate lodging across plots. Images courtesy of Scott Chapman, CSIRO.