On March 3, KeyGene officially opened its expanded digital phenotyping facility, PhenoFab®. PhenoFab is a fully automated greenhouse operation in which plant growth can be analyzed, plant traits can be measured and root development characterized. It combines high-throughput digital plant imaging technology with trait interpretation to support breeders in the development of new crop varieties. Digital phenotyping is one of the most crucial aspects of variety development in the plant breeding and crop protection industry.
The new PhenoFab facility has been expanded from 1000 to 1500 pots and in excess of 400 plants/ hour can be analyzed. The facility also offers innovations such as gentle plant movement on highly adaptable cars for maximum flexibility in crop species, pot size and plant treatments; integration of phenotypic data with DNA profiles; and a reporting service that offers interactive client access to all images and data analytics.
The expanded PhenoFab facility is a joint effort between KeyGene and WPS. WPS, that has experience in implementing digital phenotyping systems since 2003, has installed a NextGen phenotyping system which is equipped with the latest technology available in this field. KeyGene has over 6 year of expertise in the field of digital phenotyping and uses its core competencies in biology, computer vision and statistics to maximize output in order to support clients with the development of their crops.
PhenoFab is the only independent phenotyping facility in the world that offers access to multiple and different phenotyping systems. Breeding and crop protection organizations utilize PhenoFab to benefit from the latest innovations in digital phenotyping in order to accelerate their R&D programs. Arjen van Tunen, CEO KeyGene states: `With this WPS system installed in the PhenoFab, KeyGene has obtained the expansion needed in order to support breeders, researchers and companies with their work on future crops. The development of newly improved crops is boosted by this state-of-the-art technology’. Bas van Eerdt, Manager Business Development WPS adds: `With KeyGene’s strong reputation as a leading Digital Phenotyping Technology and Trait Provider, WPS is very proud that KeyGene recognizes the WPS Digital Phenotyping system as a key ingredient to bring its expertise to the next level’.
25 years of sustainable molecular genetic innovations for crop improvement
KeyGene is a privately owned, innovative molecular genetics Ag Biotech company with a primary focus on the improvement of 6F (Food, Feed, Fiber, Fuel, Flowers and Fun) crops. KeyGene’s passion is to explore and exploit natural genetic variation in vegetable and other 6F crops. KeyGene delivers sustainable responses to the world’s needs for yield stability & quality of vegetable and field crops. KeyGene supports its strategic partners with cutting edge breeding technologies and plant-based trait platforms, with more than 135 employees from all over the world, with state of the art facilities and equipment. KeyGene has its headquarters in Wageningen, the Netherlands, a subsidiary in Rockville, USA and a Joint Lab with the Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences in Shanghai, China. www.keygene.com
WPS develops, supplies and implements integrated systems for plant handling such as the High Throughput Digital Phenotyping system as installed at KeyGene’s PhenoFab®. Core expertises of WPS are conveyor systems, Experiment Control Software, imaging equipment and image analysis software. WPS systems are operational all over the world at Plant Research and Professional Horticultural facilities. Due to the highly modularized components WPS can design robust and efficient systems around the specific needs and processes of individual clients. More information can be found at www.wps.eu
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