• Applications Plant Phenotyping

High Throughput Phenotyping

Indisputably, WPS is the home of high-throughput digital phenotyping. Since 2003 when WPS built the world’s first high-throughput digital plant phenotyping platform, WPS has expanded its engineering solutions to build systems that:

  • Transport 80,000 plants per day on RFID or bar-coded plant carriers
  • Offers a range of pot designs to create micro-environments for homogenous growth conditions across all plant samples and decreasing experimental variability
  • Uniquely use imaging on the fly to negate the imaging bottleneck
  • Does not rely on slow and imprecise lift-and-turn units
  • With its high-throughput RGB sensors, WPS can acquire 70 side images-on-the-fly, including image processing, in less than 4 seconds with over 1Gb of raw data per plant acquired.

Transport of the plants is the key element in high-throughput digital plant imaging platforms. Whether it is for randomization strategies, transport to-from imaging and watering stations, WPS conveyance systems are specifically designed to optimize plant growth conditions and their assessment.

Automation systems from WPS: multi-level, highly customized and covering hectares

Some facts and figures about WPS phenotyping solutions:

  • Used on >100 facilities around the world both for phenotyping and professional horticulture.
  • Combined length of WPS conveyors is >2000KM (>1200 Miles)
  • >1.000.000 RFID fitted plant carriers are used
  • The system capacity varies between 200 & 100.000 plants per system
  • Individual plant throughputs up to 7000 plants/hour are achieved
  • Some conveyors can be used for ebb/flood watering without moving the plants.

High-throughput plant growth and conveyance systems can be for a vast range of model plant species from small laboratory model systems such as Arabidopsis to field based plants such as maize and sugarcane.

Our fully-customized solutions are modular, flexible and scalable, thus WPS can provide any or combinations of:

  • Future integration of new sensors
  • Scalability of plant transport to meet potential increases
  • Morphometric and RGB Analysis
  • Chlorophyll Fluorescence Kinetics Imaging
  • Thermal Imaging
  • 3D Reconstruction
  • Hyperspectral Imaging
  • NIR Imaging
  • Watering, Weighing and Nutrient Delivery
  • Environmental monitoring (temperature, RH, light intensity, light spectral sensor).

A WPS semi-automated system is also able to easily handle high-throughput numbers of plant specimens. Semi-automated systems can, of course, be affordably upgraded to completely automated plant growth and conveyance systems. Additionally, conveyor systems can be a width and design to match any number of plant pot dimensions and plant growth size during the course of an experiment. At WPS, there is no emphasis on what conveyor system you must consider- we design and build any size of conveyor that is the best fit for your research needs. Our intrinsic platform flexibility is increased with simple engineering solutions that allow rapid exchange of plant carrier adapter plates- specific for plant/pot centre of mass, specialized imaging requirements or particular to experimental plant dimensions or other application-specific requirements.

Part of the exceptional design inherent in these platforms is the plant carrier- plant growth and conveyance systems that can be planned and constructed up to dozens of meters in length with hundreds of kilos of plants loaded onto it, with just one single motor! This results in an extremely high degree of design freedom, energy efficiency and smooth operation.

WPS high-throughput phenotyping platforms seamlessly integrate modular hardware components, the RFID control system and image acquisition/data analysis software- our background is in commercial design and implementation- for researchers this means ease-of-use, robustness and reliability.

From manually loaded systems, from low- to ultra-high-throughput, WPS has the engineering excellence and experience in commissioning integrated plant research platforms. Not overlooking optimised and, reproducible and consistent plant growth conditions,

WPS provides non-destructive plant phenotyping and quantitative data for a range of applications including:

  • Root phenotyping
  • Climate change impact on crop production
  • Trait discovery
  • Plant stress response
  • Field phenotyping
  • Functional genomics
  • Fertilizer uptake and optimization
  • Plant breeding; and
  • Energy crops.

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