Republished from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility website.

An exciting new combined drought/heat research capability is now available for pilot projects at The Plant Accelerator® at Waite, thanks to a recent $1 million GRDC investment.

The capability offers unprecedented ability to apply drought and heat stress to plants and measure transpirational response. Twin chambers enable two different climate regimes to be investigated in parallel, with control of vapour pressure deficit (VPD), and light quality and intensity.

The capability consists of two Conviron controlled environment rooms (CERs) specially fitted with temperature and humidity control, variable wavelength LED lighting up to 1000 µE.m-2.s-1 and Phenospex DroughtSpotters.

DroughtSpotters are fully automated gravimetric platforms with high precision irrigation to 1ml, enabling the maintenance of target weights of individual plant pots according to the researchers’ experimental protocol and the calculation of plant transpiration rates at high temporal resolution based on weight lost. The unique twin CERs, comprising 96 load cells per room, enable parallel experiments for which watering protocols or drought scenarios can be easily customised. The individual pot weight can be up to 15 kg.

The APPF invites expressions of interest from Australian plant scientists wishing to undertake pilot projects using the new combined drought/heat phentotyping system which is located at the APPF’s University of Adelaide node.

Opportunities to use the platform for pilot projects include:

  1. Undertaking pilot studies to support future grant applications.
  2. Undertaking new experiments or developing new protocols to add value to related research.
  3. Replicating previously completed experiments using the new platform to validate hypotheses.

For more information:

Deadline for applications/expressions of interest:  14 September 2018

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