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Today we announced the opening of the Bellwether Foundation Phenotyping Facility. The Facility will further strengthen our 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 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.
“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.”
Tom Brutnell, Ph.D. in the Phenotyping Facility.
“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.
Ivan Baxter, Ph.D in the Phenotyping Facility.
“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 Danforth Center will unveil the new technology to the scientific community during its 15th annual Fall Symposium, to be held September 25 – 27, 2013 at the Center. The Symposium, PhenoDays: Imaging & Robotics, for 21st Century Science will focus on digital profiling of phenotypic outputs driven by advances in imaging and robotics.
For more information about the Bellwether Foundation Phenotyping Facility, view the press