Danforth Plant Science Center adds plant phenotyping facility

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced the opening of the Bellwether Foundation Phenotyping Facility, further strengthening its imaging and robotics capabilities that accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. The one-of-a-kind facility will automate continuous plant imaging, and provide accurate control over experimental conditions.

“The new facility was built to provide our scientists and collaborators with a best-in-class resource that is unique in the U.S.”, said Jim Carrington, president of the Danforth Plant Science Center. “This technology ramps up the pace of scientific discovery, as well as applications that impact agricultural productivity.”

The system combines a temperature- and light-controlled plant growth environment with a conveyer system to move plants through three instrument chambers. Real-time measurements of plant growth, photosynthetic ability and water content are captured using three-dimensional imaging techniques. Analysis of image data is done through the high-performance computing capabilities of the Danforth Center’s Bioinformatics Core, which was established in 2012.

“This unique facility will enable us to conduct genetic screens with a precision never before possible . The result will be a much better understanding of how genes operate in plants,” said Tom Brutnell, Ph.D., director of the Danforth Center’s Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels.

Initial experiments are designed to understand how bioenergy grasses respond to heat and drought stress. The size of the plant growth chamber and capacity of the conveyor system permit the large number of plants needed for detailed genetic analyses.

The Center collaborated with Conviron and LemnaTech to design and build the Bellwether Phenotyping Facility, which allows non-destructive analysis of up to 1140 small to medium sized plants at multiple points over a desired growth period.

“By controlling the environment for more than 1,100 plants, using automated, high resolution imaging to measure multiple different characteristics over time, we expect to be able to measure the interactions between genes and the environment”, said Ivan Baxter, USDA research scientist and principal investigator at the Danforth Plant Science Center.

The facility includes a 680 sq. ft., climate controlled, Conviron growth house, which permits precise control over temperature, humidity and light intensity. The robotic conveyor system moves plants through watering and nutrient stations, in addition to the imaging stations.

The Danforth Center will unveil the new technology to the scientific community during its annual Fall Symposium, to be held September 25 – 27, 2013 at the Center. Funding for the facility was provided in part by through a $1 million gift from The Bellwether Foundation.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Aluminum Grain Trailers

Maurer Manufacturing offers a complete line of high quality aluminum grain trailers. Manufactured in Spencer, Iowa, Maurer aluminum grain trailers ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form