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Institute of Bio- and Geosciences

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Research Area
Enabling Technologies

The research area Enabling Technologies develops methods dedicated to plant research in cooperation with the other research areas of IBG-2. The focus is on developing noninvasive and minimally invasive methods to enable in-depth as well as high throughput measures on plants.


We develop new or refine existing techniques and methods targeted to measure structural and functional plant traits under close-to-natural environmental conditions. This includes advanced tools for either in-depth analysis of plant individuals or screening of high numbers.

Anatomical and morphological traits besides water content or water flow are measured by using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Long distance transport of photoassimilates can be detected and imaged by using short-lived radioactive tracers (Tracer Technologies). To measure growth of individual leaves or plant canopies, Quantitative Image Processing is needed which includes development of new mathematical approaches. Automation of phenotyping procedures and protocols is needed to Screening traits of high numbers of individual plants.