Plant Phenotyping

What is plant phenotyping?

Phenotyping has been developed as a multidisciplinary approach to help ensure good crop performance. This helps to keep up with rising global food demands and the damaging results of climate change. This is concerned with quantitative measurement of the structure and functional properties of plants.

The Computer Vision Lab, which is part of the School of Computer Science at the University, has been working on several international projects. These projects are to develop new ideas to help ensure that we are able to feed future generations. 



EMPHASIS plant phenotyping

Video by IPPN showing why phenotyping is important.

Download the video transcript 


New technologies

The advancement of plant and crop phenotyping is both biological and technological challenging.

Cross departmental research at University of Nottingham between the School of Biosciences and the Computer Vision Lab, based in School of Computer Science, has led to the development of tools and methods for plant phenotyping. This work has also led to the development of the University’s Hounsfield facility. The facility provides researchers with a unique robot phenotyping installation based on X-ray Computed tomography. 

Supporting research in plant and agricultural science 

The University has invested in facilities to support research into plant and agricultural science, with the help of new technologies. An example of these would be Hounsfield and Ionomics facilities, which are available for use in experiments.

The Hounsfield Facility is a multidisciplinary, world leading facility which allows researchers to use ‘state-of-the-art’, 3D non-destructive microCT technologies and contemporary image analysis techniques. Using this data researchers can explore the internal architecture of biomaterials.
The aim of the Ionomics Hub is to help improve our understanding of how plants take up, transport and store nutrient and toxic elements. The hub also helps us understand how this benefits human health and the natural environment.

National and international networking

The work the University has been doing has helped create links with both national and international networks.

PhenomUK aim to identify the UK's key phenotyping needs and develop strategy for research and development to drive improvement in plant phenotyping solutions. To do this they encourage collaboration between agricultural scientists, those who work in engineering and computer scientists.

EPPN2020 is a project funded by the Horizon 2020 EU program. They aim to provide European public and private sector scientists with access to a range of cutting-edge plant phenotyping facilities. Including those at University of Nottingham.

The European infrastructure for multi-scale plant phenomics and simulation, (EMPHASIS) aim to provide facilities across Europe which address multi-scale plant phenotyping. EMPHASIS aims to address the technological and organisational limits of European plant phenotyping. This helps provide a full exploitation of genetic and genomic resources available for crop improvement in times of changing climate. 







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