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The Microphenotron: a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology

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The Microphenotron : a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology. / Burrell, Thomas Ian; Fozard, Susan; Holroyd, Geoffrey Heys; French, Andrew P.; Pound, Michael P.; Bigley, Christopher; Taylor, Charles James; Forde, Brian Gordon.

In: Plant Methods, Vol. 13, 10, 01.03.2017.

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@article{11ca71f6aa50445987d797c19a6a190e,
title = "The Microphenotron: a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology",
abstract = "Background: Chemical genetics provides a powerful alternative to conventional genetics for understanding gene function. However, its application to plants has been limited by the lack of a technology that allows detailed phenotyping of whole-seedling development in the context of a high throughput chemical screen. We have therefore sought to develop an automated micro-phenotyping platform that would allow both root and shoot development to be monitored under conditions where the phenotypic effects of large numbers of small molecules can be assessed.Results: The ‘Microphenotron’ platform uses 99-well microtitre plates to deliver chemical treatments 23 to seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana L. and is based around four components: (a) the ‘Phytostrip’, a novel seedling growth device that enables chemical treatments to be combined with the automated capture of images of developing roots and shoots; (b) an illuminated robotic platform that uses commercially available robotic manipulator to capture images of developing shoots and roots; (c) software to control the sequence of robotic movements and integrate these with the image capture process; (d) purpose-made image analysis software for automated extraction of quantitative phenotypic data. Imaging of each plate (representing 80 separate assays) takes 4 min and can easily be performed daily for time-course studies. As currently configured, the Microphenotron has a capacity of 54 microtitre plates in a growth room footprint of 2.1 m2, giving a potential throughput of up to 4320 chemical treatments in a typical 10 d experiment. The Microphenotron has been validated by using it to screen a collection of 800 natural compounds for qualitative effects on root development and to perform a quantitative analysis of the effects of a range of concentrations of nitrate and ammonium on seedling development.Conclusions: The Microphenotron is an automated screening platform that for the first time is able to combine large numbers of individual chemical treatments with a detailed analysis of whole-seedling development, and particularly root system development. The Microphenotron should provide a powerful new tool for chemical genetics and for wider chemical biology applications, including the development of natural and synthetic chemical products for improved agricultural sustainability.",
keywords = "Arabidopsis thaliana, automated, biostimulants, chemical biology, chemical genetics, Eragrostis tef, plant phenotyping, robotic, root system architecture, shoot development",
author = "Burrell, {Thomas Ian} and Susan Fozard and Holroyd, {Geoffrey Heys} and French, {Andrew P.} and Pound, {Michael P.} and Christopher Bigley and Taylor, {Charles James} and Forde, {Brian Gordon}",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1186/s13007-017-0158-6",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
journal = "Plant Methods",
issn = "1746-4811",
publisher = "BIOMED CENTRAL LTD",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Microphenotron

T2 - a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology

AU - Burrell, Thomas Ian

AU - Fozard, Susan

AU - Holroyd, Geoffrey Heys

AU - French, Andrew P.

AU - Pound, Michael P.

AU - Bigley, Christopher

AU - Taylor, Charles James

AU - Forde, Brian Gordon

PY - 2017/3/1

Y1 - 2017/3/1

N2 - Background: Chemical genetics provides a powerful alternative to conventional genetics for understanding gene function. However, its application to plants has been limited by the lack of a technology that allows detailed phenotyping of whole-seedling development in the context of a high throughput chemical screen. We have therefore sought to develop an automated micro-phenotyping platform that would allow both root and shoot development to be monitored under conditions where the phenotypic effects of large numbers of small molecules can be assessed.Results: The ‘Microphenotron’ platform uses 99-well microtitre plates to deliver chemical treatments 23 to seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana L. and is based around four components: (a) the ‘Phytostrip’, a novel seedling growth device that enables chemical treatments to be combined with the automated capture of images of developing roots and shoots; (b) an illuminated robotic platform that uses commercially available robotic manipulator to capture images of developing shoots and roots; (c) software to control the sequence of robotic movements and integrate these with the image capture process; (d) purpose-made image analysis software for automated extraction of quantitative phenotypic data. Imaging of each plate (representing 80 separate assays) takes 4 min and can easily be performed daily for time-course studies. As currently configured, the Microphenotron has a capacity of 54 microtitre plates in a growth room footprint of 2.1 m2, giving a potential throughput of up to 4320 chemical treatments in a typical 10 d experiment. The Microphenotron has been validated by using it to screen a collection of 800 natural compounds for qualitative effects on root development and to perform a quantitative analysis of the effects of a range of concentrations of nitrate and ammonium on seedling development.Conclusions: The Microphenotron is an automated screening platform that for the first time is able to combine large numbers of individual chemical treatments with a detailed analysis of whole-seedling development, and particularly root system development. The Microphenotron should provide a powerful new tool for chemical genetics and for wider chemical biology applications, including the development of natural and synthetic chemical products for improved agricultural sustainability.

AB - Background: Chemical genetics provides a powerful alternative to conventional genetics for understanding gene function. However, its application to plants has been limited by the lack of a technology that allows detailed phenotyping of whole-seedling development in the context of a high throughput chemical screen. We have therefore sought to develop an automated micro-phenotyping platform that would allow both root and shoot development to be monitored under conditions where the phenotypic effects of large numbers of small molecules can be assessed.Results: The ‘Microphenotron’ platform uses 99-well microtitre plates to deliver chemical treatments 23 to seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana L. and is based around four components: (a) the ‘Phytostrip’, a novel seedling growth device that enables chemical treatments to be combined with the automated capture of images of developing roots and shoots; (b) an illuminated robotic platform that uses commercially available robotic manipulator to capture images of developing shoots and roots; (c) software to control the sequence of robotic movements and integrate these with the image capture process; (d) purpose-made image analysis software for automated extraction of quantitative phenotypic data. Imaging of each plate (representing 80 separate assays) takes 4 min and can easily be performed daily for time-course studies. As currently configured, the Microphenotron has a capacity of 54 microtitre plates in a growth room footprint of 2.1 m2, giving a potential throughput of up to 4320 chemical treatments in a typical 10 d experiment. The Microphenotron has been validated by using it to screen a collection of 800 natural compounds for qualitative effects on root development and to perform a quantitative analysis of the effects of a range of concentrations of nitrate and ammonium on seedling development.Conclusions: The Microphenotron is an automated screening platform that for the first time is able to combine large numbers of individual chemical treatments with a detailed analysis of whole-seedling development, and particularly root system development. The Microphenotron should provide a powerful new tool for chemical genetics and for wider chemical biology applications, including the development of natural and synthetic chemical products for improved agricultural sustainability.

KW - Arabidopsis thaliana

KW - automated

KW - biostimulants

KW - chemical biology

KW - chemical genetics

KW - Eragrostis tef

KW - plant phenotyping

KW - robotic

KW - root system architecture

KW - shoot development

U2 - 10.1186/s13007-017-0158-6

DO - 10.1186/s13007-017-0158-6

M3 - Journal article

VL - 13

JO - Plant Methods

JF - Plant Methods

SN - 1746-4811

M1 - 10

ER -