The APPF invites expressions of interest from plant scientists wishing to undertake pilot projects using the new X-ray CT phenotyping system. 

The Plant Accelerator® is a cutting-edge plant phenotyping facility located at the APPF’s Adelaide node at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide. The facility offers modern plant growth environments and state-of-the-art high-throughput automated imaging and computing technologies to monitor the performance of plants under different environmental conditions (e.g. which genotype performs best under drought stress). The APPF has recently commissoned a new X-ray CT system funded by the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) to provide high-throughput phenotyping of crop traits previously recalcitrant to automated analysis.

This capability will have major immediate applications in both cereal spike and root phenotyping. The system, built in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen-Fuerth (Germany), can be used to accurately and quickly phenotype large numbers  of cereal spikes. Measurement of spike and grain traits is critical for plant scientists to understand the effect of abiotic stresses, such as frost, heat or drought on grain development. The high throughput enables the screening of large genetic mapping panels and for breeders to select superior crop varieties.

The X-ray CT system is situated adjacent to the Plant Accelerator automated high throughput imaging platforms. Shoots of plants are being phenotyped with high precision, and can be transferred to the X-ray CT system and then scanned non-destructively to produce a high resolution 3D model of their roots systems before being replaced on the shoot phenotyping platform. This enables understanding of root system architecture and response to treatments including fertiliser or abiotic and biotic stresses over time.


Deadline for Expressions of Interest is 17 December 2021.

For more information contact Bettina Berger or Darren Plett

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