What is Plantarray

Plantarray is a high-throughput, physiological-based, precise phenotyping system that performs SPAC (Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Continuum) measurements for the whole-plant response to different environments. The system collects data simultaneously from all plants in the array, providing a genuine comparison between plants and their treatments, in an easy to use, not destructive and non invasive setup.

Plantarray's hardware meets large variety of growing facilities. It is simple to install, integrated with top of the line sensors and technologies from leading companies (Decagon, Vishay, Baccara, Tefen), highly robust (no moving parts, suitable for all plants species), and hardly requires continual technical maintenance.

Plantarray’s operating software facilitates: 

  • Simultaneous and continues data collection from all plants in the array
  • Control and maintenance of each pot soil conditions including soil-water content, salinity, and tested chemicals concentration in the growing media
  • Real-time analysis and presentation for easy experiment control

Plantarray’s complementary hardware and software provides meaningful insights to the user about the whole-plant response to physical, chemical, or biological changes in their environment with clear interpretation of the following quantitative physiological traits (QPT):

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  • Stomatal conductance
  • Daily biomass gain
  • Daily water loss
  • Water use efficiency
  • Transpiration rate
  • Root water fluxes
  • Relative water content
  • Individual stress index (DRI)
  • Root penetration
  • Post-harvest weight data collection

The product development process drew on the experience of leading academic researchers in the fields of plant physiology, soil and water, genetics and ecology and is confirmed by published studies in leading journals.

Plantarray Key Benefits

Plantarray is easier and cheaper to operate than existing systems. It reduces the time of months or years of expensive manual testing to weeks, thereby saving precious resources. Plantarray reduces intensive large-scale field testing based on trial and error with a low operating cost automated system.

Performance Benefits

 

ManualImagingPlantarray

Trait measurements

Stand-alone apparatus, one organ at a time

Morphological structural canopy or root, one at a time

Continuous functional whole plant water status

Traits related to  yield potential

Dependent on apparatus used

Size, growth rates, architecture

Growth rate, transpiration rate, water-use-efficiency, stomatal conductance and more

Ability to control and measure Genotype X Environment

Inaccurate

Limited

No limitations

Variety of plants

Suitable for most plant types

Customization required

Suitable for most plant types

Sampling rate per pot
(assuming array of 300 pots)

Very low –
One-two times a week per person

Plant to probe: Low
(one or two times a day)
Probe to plant: Mid
(several times a day)

High –
500 times a day;  essential correlation with the dynamic environment changes

Correlation to field results

Mid –
Due to low sampling rate

Mid –
Due to low sampling rate

High –
Thanks to high correlation to the dynamic environment changes

Root measurement

Limited

Poor

Good

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
(Assuming 300 plant samples) 

 

ManualImagingPlantarray

Investment cost

Dependent on manpower and end equipment

Expensive  -
Above $1M

Mid -
Lower than $500K

Greenhouse  demand costs

Negligible

Expensive -
Above $1M

Negligible

Operation costs:

Labor

High –
At least two technicians

Mid –
At least one full time technician

Low –
Part time technician

Maintenance

Dependent on equipment

High –
Many moving parts

Minor –
Robust with no moving parts

Estimated cost per day and plant**

$ 1

$ 0.8

$ 0.45

** Based on general assumptions that might vary between sites due to specific site conditions, salaries and experiment requirements

Experimental Design Abilities

 

ManualImagingPlantarray

Irrigation control

Time consuming and dependent on the growth facility setup

Plant to probe: Few irrigation stations
Probe to plant: Dependent on growth facility setup

Automated for each plant, remotely controlled

Soil/chemical control

Sisyphean

Plant to probe: Few irrigation stations
Probe to plant: Dependent on growth facility setup

Automated dosage per plant, remotely controlled

Soil  and water treatments

Sisyphean

Plant to probe: Few irrigation stations
Probe to plant: Dependent on growth facility setup

Automated personalized feedback per plant, along with remote control

High-throughput simultaneous measurements

Poor

Plant to probe: Poor
Probe to plant: Limited

No limitations

Randomization

Limited to the growth facility setup

Plant to probe: Good
Probe to plant: Limited to the growth facility setup

Excellent -
Individual two taps feedback irrigation

Instant feedback for effective experiment

None

Poor –
Due to only few irrigation stations

High -
Continues monitoring and feedback irrigation per plant

 

 See for yourself the first operational functional phenotyping facility with more than 300 load cells:

ICORE3        Israeli Center of Research Excellence facility in Rehovot, Israel

 

Israeli Center of Research Excellence facility in Rehovot, Israel

How Plantarray Works

Plantarray's advanced sensing device and complementary software enables to determine single, whole-plant physiological traits, simultaneously for any number of plants. It enables to isolate plants with better potential of durability/survivability, stress resilience, growth patterns, yield, response to soil salinity, drought or flooding.

Objective, Accurate, and Continuous Data Collection

how big

Data is collected simultaneously for all plants in a greenhouse, even if each plant has its own pre-defined treatment. The Plantarray predictive system monitors each plant water and nutrition program automatically, ensuring precise comparison between treatments as well as complex scenarios that could not be achieved with manual operation. The system enables the simple application and accurate maintenance of complex experiments by facilitating:

  • The application of several different treatments simultaneously for each plant in the array
  • The easy change of treatments
  • The maintenance of a steady state soil condition (water content or salinity concentration) via soil sensor and load cells lysimeters (gravimetric system) based feedback loop regulation

Plantarray’s analytical software converts the data collected by the hardware to quantitative plants physiological traits (QTPs) and serves as an easy to use and flexible tool that enables, Optimal plant selection based on plant performance rankings, Physiological presentation of the plant’s dynamic behavior.
Plantarray output is presented on a simple and user-friendly interface providing instant online analysis together with easy to extract data for further interpretation.

Better Data for Better Decision Making

In order to help improve decision making, Plantarray allows users to follow the population and the impact of treatments using real time charts and histograms that simplify understanding, analysis, and presentation of test result. The system enables to delete noise and irrelevant data, enabling you to collect relevant data from several screens in order to create compelling comparative plant indexes.
A selection of distribution histograms, charts and graphs help visualize data properties to observe differences in a population or within a greenhouse.

Examples of graphic presentations:

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Over a Decade in the Making

works big

Over 10 years of growing plants with load cells lysimeters (gravimetric system) under varied environmental  conditions and in different growth facilities educated us about what was required to build a reliable and robust system. Our experience is implemented in every part of the system, beginning with the specially designed drainage container. This highly robust plastic container can fit almost any pot volume from 1.5L-60L, can be set for four drainage positions and has a stand for irrigation tubes and other wiring. The unique shape of the container prevents water drainage on the lysimeter, which causes noise in the data and harms the load cell. It also enables water and root measurements without affecting the plant and the experiment. Each pot is placed in this special drainage container, with one or more plants, on a highly accurate load cell (Vishay). The load cell is connected a control unit that measures the pot weight continuously, 24/7 and enables further calculation of physiological traits.

hardware

Each control unit (for each pot) contains two valves (Baccara Ltd.) to provide automated control, maintenance of solution mixtures and to prevent salinity build up in the potting soil. Consequently, each unique treatment and each plant in the array can be immediately controlled. The valve’s action can be pre-set for an experiment, work in a feedback to the soil probes setting to reach pre-determined goal or on-demand with easy control software. The irrigation is based on a four to eight way distributor for homogenized soil watering.  

Each control unit is built to hold up to four additional sensors. All sensors are continuously monitored. The optional sensors for soil and atmosphere measurements are easily installed depending on the examiner treatment design, and allow further calculation for comprehensive information about the water status of each plant. For more details download technical data sheet here. 
Although all units are connected, our design ensures that even if failure occurs in one unit, it does not affect the others.

Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Continuum Analytics

 The data is then processed by the SPAC-Analytics software which creates charts and reports providing invaluable information to the researcher. It provides the user with graphic presentations of the collected data, an analysis tool for the examined parameters, and a decision assistant tool for diverse applications such as: abiotic stress, breeding, chemicals & biostimulants, root activity and more. There is no need to update the algorithm when working with new species.

The product development process drew on the experience of leading academic researchers in the fields of plant physiology, soil and water, genetics and ecology and is confirmed by published studies in leading journals.

graph1

Plantarray’s high-throughput sampling rate (~ 500 measurements per day) enables to identify even small change in the whole-plant behavior. For example, momentary transpiration change along the day hours.The differences between the plants (See graph) occurred for only a few hours every day. They were observed due to the high resolution and simultaneous sampling by the Plantarray system (adapted and modified from Sade et al 2010 plant physiology).

 

High Standard Components

Plant-DiTech’s uncompromising approach to accurate and reliable measurement is a major determinant of how we select our suppliers. The 3rd party products integrated in the Plantarry solution were chosen very carefully and tested for many years under almost every condition, to make sure they meet our high standards. Our 3rd party suppliers are an integral part of our final product, that guarantees the unerring precision that we provide.

Plant-DiTech is proud to co-operate with the following providers of high quality products:

About Plant Ditech

Plant-DiTech provides innovative plant physiology diagnostic tools that bring scientists, breeders and Agro-business to new discoveries and better yields in different environments, while shortening R&D time to market. The company’s vision is to help researchers and agro companies find the right plants, traits and materials concentration which contribute to better plants yields and stress resistance.

Contact Us

Plant-DiTech LTD
Israel, Rehovot
Mail: customer-relations@plant-ditech.com
Tel: +972-54-5434590
Fax: +972-8-9472504

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