Criteria for a European Plant Phenotyping Infrastructure

The objective of EMPHASIS-PREP is to develop a long-term, distributed, pan-European infrastructure for state-of-the-art plant phenotyping. To tackle the global challenge of improving crop performance to secure future food supplies, novel approaches in plant phenotyping are required.

Plant phenotyping platforms allow for characterization of plant traits in a non-destructive way. During multiple workshops, we asked plant scientists from different regions of Europe to present their plant phenotyping infrastructures. After mapping the different existing as well as upcoming infrastructures in close discussion with the plant phenotyping community, we have defined the criteria list of EMPHASIS, consisting of five pillars.

Controlled Conditions

  • Greenhouses and growth chambers
  • Monitoring of (semi-)controlled environmental conditions
  • Often automated, e.g., plant to sensor or sensor to plant
  • Throughput typically between 100-1000s plants

More about Controlled Conditions

Intensive Field

  • Fully equipped field trials
  • Detailed environmental monitoring
  • High-quality/throughput phenotyping measurements
  • Semi-controlled intensive field sites: alter environmental conditions

More about Intensive Field

Lean Field

  • Field trials with environmental monitoring
  • Phenotyping equipment for yield and moisture content
  • Potentially ground based or airborne sensing systems
  • Usually in networks of fields

More about Lean Field


  • Virtual platforms
  • Integrated or interfacing with phenotyping data
  • Different types of models, e.g., Crop Models, FSPM

More about Modelling

Data & Computational Services

  • FAIR Information systems plant phenotyping data
  • Access to data
  • Support for local installation data management
  • Integration of information system into pan-European system

More about Data & Computational Services

Your Input

The list of criteria represents the current status of the participation and discussion with the plant phenotyping community in the development of EMPHASIS. It is thus still open for modifications in the course of ongoing stakeholder engagement.

EMPHASIS-PREP is open for discussion regarding the content of the list and welcomes feedback from all plant phenotyping researchers. The aim of the criteria list is to inform a range of different stakeholders including scientists and policy makers.

Please comment on the EMPHASIS criteria within the following document:

EMPHASIS Criteria List (Google Docs)