A new growth chamber for plant phenotyping recently opened on the campus of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana USA. The new facility provides plant researchers the ability to automatically gather and analyse huge amounts of real-time, high-quality phenotypic data to accelerate crop improvement.
The build is an evolution from 2017, when Bosman Van Zaal developed its first controlled environmental phenotyping facility in partnership with Purdue University and supported by AgriNomix, an AdeptAg company.
Bosman Van Zaal’s second, more advanced system, is equipped with an RFID tag (radio-frequency identification) allowing data to be stored on a tiny chip with each plant. An electromagnetic reader reads the data via radio waves and the ISAL logistics platform keeps track of where the plant is located.
The ISAL logistics platform handles logistics processes and activities. The platform centralizes communication with the (SQL) databases and web services while also providing wizards for provisioning configuration, user management, PLC logging, and communication with third-party PLCs.
Like the original design, the new system integrates hyperspectral and RGB cameras, fully automated conveyor belts, a climate cell for 13-foot(4-meter) tall plants, and a fully automated precision watering system.
The new system is going into a second growth chamber in Purdue's 7,300-square-foot Ag Alumni Seed Phenotyping Facility (AAPF), increasing plant-holding capacity from 256 to 624. "The increased capacity and added features allow our researchers to increase the scope of their experiments and run them under different environmental conditions simultaneously," says Yang Yang, Director of Digital Phenomics at Purdue University.
About Purdue University
Purdue’s Institute for Plant Sciences is at the forefront of solving local and global food challenges. The Institute continues investing in phenotyping technology across multiple scales to close the gap between genotype and phenotype and become a national leader in plant science and as well as part of a global community to accelerate digital agricultural innovation.
AdeptAg is the leading North American integrator of process automation and irrigation systems in controlled environment crop production. Originated as AgriNomix and Zwart Systems, the companies are best-in-class providers in their respective fields. AgriNomix, established in 1994, is North America’s top provider of process automation, internal logistics, and robotic solutions for growers. Zwart Systems, established in 1969, is North America’s leader in comprehensive irrigation and water treatment solutions to controlled environment growers.