What is the infrastructure in EMPHASIS?
EMPHASIS will host all necessary infrastructure for state-of-the-art phenotyping.Details are subject to further elaboration during EMPHASIS-PREP:
- Controlled conditions: Phenotyping platforms in (semi-) controlled conditions for high resolution and high throughput phenotyping.
These phenotyping platforms allow investigation of the genetic variability of measured plant traits as a response to well-defined environmental (biotic and abiotic) conditions. Such platforms use non-invasive technology for structural and functional properties such as shoot and root architecture, biomass and growth rates, photosynthesis, nutrient relations etc. and can functionally analyse hundreds/thousands of plants exposed to different and well-defined environmental conditions with varying water, nutrient or CO2 availability.
- Intensive field: Smart/ Intensive field experimental sites for high throughput phenotyping
Field infrastructures that allows investigation of plant traits in canopies under natural environmental conditions exposed to treatments such as rising CO2 (FACE facilities), drought (rain-out shelters), flooding or limited nutrient availability. These platforms involve extensive and high-resolution recording of the environmental conditions (including abiotic and biotic) and detailed imaging carried by proximal or remote sensing systems.
- Lean field: Translational, coordinated network of field experiments with lean, efficient phenotyping close to practical breeding setups
Field experiments in distributed sites following environmental gradients (e.g. north-south, oceanic – continental) will allow prediction of plant performance in current and future climatic scenarios, and establishment of the link between their performance and underlying traits at the stand level. These platforms allow testing a large number of genotypes in a wide range of conditions that cannot be covered by intensive field facilities, but with a precise and efficient recording of environmental conditions.
- Modelling: Modelling platforms for testing existing or virtual combinations of alleles in a variety of climatic scenarios and management practices.
The modelling platform can include different categories for models (structural-functional models, crop models etc.) e.g. to have a portfolio of model for (a) disentangling of complex phenotypes to extract relevant variables, (b) allowing joint genetic analysis of complex dataset originating from several platforms and (c) allowing crop simulation to analyse traits/alleles that are favourable for a specific climatic scenario
An essential element of distributed infrastructures is the interconnection between different nodes/ installations. E-Infrastructure needs to be integrated to manage, share, reuse and visualize high throughput plant phenotyping data stemming from different types of platforms.