The APPF is inviting applications from plant scientists wishing to undertake pilot projects using the new X-ray CT phenotyping system at the APPF’s Adelaide Node – The Plant Accelerator.

We have recently commissioned a new X-ray CT system funded by the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) to provide high-throughput phenotyping of crop traits previously recalcitrant to automated analysis.

This capability will have major immediate applications in both cereal spike and root phenotyping. The system was built in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and can be used to accurately and quickly phenotype large numbers of cereal spikes. Measurement of spike and grain traits is critical for plant scientists to understand the effect of abiotic stresses, such as frost, heat or drought on grain development. The high throughput enables the screening of large genetic mapping panels and for breeders to select superior crop varieties.

The X-ray CT system is situated next to our automated high throughput imaging platforms. This allows shoots of plants being phenotyped with high precision to be transferred to the X-ray CT system and then scanned non-destructively to produce a high-resolution 3D model of their roots systems before being replaced on the shoot phenotyping platform. This enables understanding of root system architecture and response to treatments including fertiliser or abiotic and biotic stresses over time.

The projects will be assessed based on the scientific quality of the project and the degree to which the capabilities of the X-ray CT have been appropriated. We are looking for pilot projects that:

  1. Support future grant applications
  2. Are for new experiments or developing new protocols to add value to related research
  3. Replicate previously completed experiments using the new platform to validate hypotheses.

Priority will be given to projects relating to the grains industry.

The application form and further information can be found here.