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The Plant Accelerator
Helli Meinecke
Managing Director
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide SA 5005 Australia

Telephone: +61 8 8313 0808
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 0828


High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre
Geoff Buckmaster
Business Operations Coordinator
CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6218 3430
Facsimile: +61 2 6246 4975

Alyssa Weirman
Operations Co-Ordinator
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6125 8319

The Plant Accelerator (high-throughput phenotyping)


The Plant Accelerator offers professional consultation on plant phenomics and experimental design, backed by dedicated bioinformatics support with data management and analysis.

  • Pricing and availability - please contact us by e-mail or on +61 8 8313 1137.
  • Specifications - LemnaTec Scanalyzer 3D brochure click here.

Smarthouse in The Plant Accelerator

Digital imaging technologies, high capacity computing and robotics are combined at The Plant Accelerator to allow the automated, high throughput, non-destructive measurement of plant growth and function ("phenomics"). These resources are situated in a purpose-built facility, which also houses state-of-the-art greenhouses, growth rooms, laboratories and seed storage facilities.

The Plant Accelerator's high-throughput phenotyping platform increases the speed and scale of plant physiological measurements, and helps address the phenotyping bottleneck that is restricting the flow-through of genomics advances into improvements in crop performance. Carrying out projects with large populations of plants enables genetic studies to be undertaken to identify the molecular basis of complex physiological traits. Phenomics also provides a better understanding of how environmental components, both natural and artificial, affect plant growth and performance.

The Plant Accelerator contains four large areas, referred to as Smarthouses, fitted with conveyor systems and imaging stations (LemnaTec Scanalyzer 3D) for the non-destructive phenotyping of plants.This system consists of over 1km of conveyors with a total capacity of up to 2,400 plants in radio-tagged carts. These are delivered automatically to digital imaging and watering stations controlled by high capacity computing equipment:

  • Visible light images (RGB) allow the measurement of shoot area and inferred mass, plant height and width, canopy density, other morphometric data, leaf colour and senescence.
  • Steady-state fluorescence imaging with blue light large field excitation (<500 nm) allows quantification of plant senescence, chlorosis and necrosis.
  • Programmable watering to weight of plants to enable large scale experiments requiring controlled watering levels.

Research projects facilitated by this technology vary from large scale screening of early growth, salinity tolerance to water and nutrient use efficiency. Possible applications are diverse with respect to the measured traits and plant species studied. Please contact our experts to discuss how your research might benefit from the capabilities and services provided by The Plant Accelerator.

The Plant Accelerator is strategically located at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus, providing users with access to a wealth of expertise in plant and soil science.

The Plant Accelerator is supported by the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and the University of Adelaide, and is a member of South Australia's AIB Labs network.