Plants are sessile and must adapt to a variety of undesirable interactions with insects and microorganisms such as viruses, fungi and bacteria (biotic stresses). Current literature suggests that climate variability is having a dynamic effect on plant-insect/microbe interactions and as such there is great demand for tools that can assist in quantifying these interactions.
WPS plant growth and conveyance systems enable accurate quantification of the susceptibility and degree to which plants are affected by pest/pathogen attack. For example, RGB Morphometric Imaging provides dynamic quantification of plant infections in relation to reduced growth, effects on plant architecture and degree of infestation. Chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics also allows users to monitor the spatial distribution of photosynthetic activity and capacity quantifying how infection limits photochemical efficiency and yield potential. An advantage of chlorophyll fluorescence measurements over other phenotypic methods for monitoring stresses is that subtle changes in chlorophyll fluorescence kinetic parameters are often visible before the typical symptoms of the stress are evident. Further, this method is non-invasive and the spread of infection/infestation can be observed and quantified over time.