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Low-cost and automated phenotyping system “Phenomenon” for multi-sensor in situ monitoring in plant in vitro culture

  • Background The current development of sensor technologies towards ever more cost-effective and powerful systems is steadily increasing the application of low-cost sensors in different horticultural sectors. In plant in vitro culture, as a fundamental technique for plant breeding and plant propagation, the majority of evaluation methods to describe the performance of these cultures are based on destructive approaches, limiting data to unique endpoint measurements. Therefore, a non-destructive phenotyping system capable of automated, continuous and objective quantification of in vitro plant traits is desirable. Results An automated low-cost multi-sensor system acquiring phenotypic data of plant in vitro cultures was developed and evaluated. Unique hardware and software components were selected to construct a xyz-scanning system with an adequate accuracy for consistent data acquisition. Relevant plant growth predictors, such as projected area of explants and average canopy height were determined employing multi-sensory imaging and various developmental processes could be monitored and documented. The validation of the RGB image segmentation pipeline using a random forest classifier revealed very strong correlation with manual pixel annotation. Depth imaging by a laser distance sensor of plant in vitro cultures enabled the description of the dynamic behavior of the average canopy height, the maximum plant height, but also the culture media height and volume. Projected plant area in depth data by RANSAC (random sample consensus) segmentation approach well matched the projected plant area by RGB image processing pipeline. In addition, a successful proof of concept for in situ spectral fluorescence monitoring was achieved and challenges of thermal imaging were documented. Potential use cases for the digital quantification of key performance parameters in research and commercial application are discussed. Conclusion The technical realization of “Phenomenon” allows phenotyping of plant in vitro cultures under highly challenging conditions and enables multi-sensory monitoring through closed vessels, ensuring the aseptic status of the cultures. Automated sensor application in plant tissue culture promises great potential for a non-destructive growth analysis enhancing commercial propagation as well as enabling research with novel digital parameters recorded over time.

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Author:Hans BethgeORCiD, Traud WinkelmannORCiD, Patrick Lüdeke, Thomas RathORCiD
Title (English):Low-cost and automated phenotyping system “Phenomenon” for multi-sensor in situ monitoring in plant in vitro culture
Parent Title (English):Plant Methods
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Release Date:2024/01/12
Tag:Chlorophyll fuorescence; Image analysis; Laser distance sensor; Non-destructive growth analysis; Plant tissue culture
Article Number:42
Page Number:25
Faculties:Fakultät AuL
DDC classes:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 500 Naturwissenschaften
Review Status:Akzeptierte Fassung
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International