What do you think are the largest challenges in plant phenotyping? From the 2018 EMPHASIS Survey (320 respondents). Field phenotyping is rated as the biggest challenge.

Crop phenotyping in different field environments may play a significant role in climate change mitigation and global food security, as it would allow crop variety phenotyping research for specific traits such as drought tolerance or yield increase, in real and specific agronomic conditions. In the long term, EMPHASIS will facilitate standardized and interoperable plant phenotyping. This will include field phenotyping in multi-environment field experiments through different field phenotyping services. In fact, field phenotyping has been identified as one of the biggest challenges in the future of plant phenotyping, by the EMPHASIS survey (2018).

 

 

During the preparatory phase of EMPHASIS, initial steps to facilitate multi-climate field phenotyping have been taken by mapping the existing and upcoming field phenotyping sites in Europe.

 

During the EMPHASIS implementation phase, the purpose of the field pilot is to prepare and test multi-site field phenotyping services. In collaboration with an EMPHASIS field expert group, EMPHASIS is developing multi-site field phenotyping services which will be carried out during a one year implementation phase. To this end, EMPHASIS will:

  1. Identify the suitable field infrastructures for access, including access models, mapping of available equipment, mapping of needed logistics, training, …
  2. Establish a minimal requirement list to meet the quality standards
  3. Drafti service level agreement (SLA) for participating facilities, including:
    1. defining minimum requirements to qualify as plant phenotyping field site
    2. minimum requirements for data management
    3. quality policies (e.g. cost models, protocol handling, data and statistical design)
  4. Support researchers involved in multi-environment field trial experiments, including:
    1. identifying funding opportunities and developing procedures for access calls for field experiments
    2. training and advising researchers
    3. establishment of a processes continuing field phenotyping approaches for the Operational Phase

 

The field phenotyping services will create benefits by:
  • allowing crop testing in different climates in real agronomic conditions with state-of-the-art field phenotyping equipment
  • improving statistical significance for variety screening by multi-sites/climates experiments (e.g. yield increase)
  • providing the tools for multi-site experiments to establish a unique way of finding suitable crop varieties for adaptation and mitigation to a changing climate
  • acquiring high quality fielddata
  • facilitating (international) collaborations
  • ensuring a global leading role in crop research

 

 

The facilitation of field phenotyping services will require the help of different stakeholders in Europe e.g. field site owners. If you are interested to be part of the field pilot, please send an email to the EMPHASIS Coordination and Support Office.