LemnaTec, based in Aachen, Germany, has been developing hardware and software for plant phenotyping since 1998. These systems use digital image processing for applications in research and development, which are used in breeding, science, agro- and biotechnology, as well as in the seed industry.
"Digital tools are the key to modern phenotyping", says Fred Corbett with LemnaTec. "Mendel's visual inspection of pea crosses has enabled groundbreaking discoveries in genetics and, even in the 21st century, phenotypic data is essential for plant research and breeding. Today, computer-aided analysis and machine learning are used for solution-oriented phenotyping."
In addition to tailor-made solutions for complex research questions - e.g. large installations for greenhouses and open field systems - LemnaTec supplies a range of products for routine applications in phenotyping and for seed testing.
"The classical "workhorses" for digital phenotyping are imaging sensors, in particular high-resolution industrial cameras as known from other areas of image processing. These provide data on the size, shape and colour of the test objects", Fred explains.
"For the analysis of physiological properties, more complex sensor systems are also gaining in importance, such as fluorescence cameras that, in combination with special lighting and filters, provide data on the performance of the photosynthesis system of plants. Application-oriented analysis systems also include methods for evaluating plant diseases and pests."
Digital seed test
The digital seed test developed by LemnaTec is an application derived from phenotyping, which provides valuable services in the seed industry and for gene banks in determining germination capacity, germination quality and seed quality.
"The experience gained from numerous large-scale installations and laboratory systems has been incorporated into a new product line that provides image recognition solutions for reliable documentation, analysis and evaluation of data", Fred shows.
The Seedaixpert belongs to the new Aixpert product series and is suitable for paper-based germination and seedling emergence tests. "Unified imaging and analysis makes data reproducible and standardizable. Modern image processing algorithms including machine learning provide reliable and comprehensive data, the quality and information content of which exceeds the classical visual assessment. In addition, the digital image data can be retrieved at any time so that a complete documentation of the samples is guaranteed."
The Seedaixpert offers extensive accessories.