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Methods and Technologies at the
Jülich Plant Phenotyping Centre


MiniPlots facility for greenhouse and field

The miniplot facility allows to study plants in a stand in the greenhouse and outside. The facility is equipped with an accurate positioning system moving above the plots allowing automatic measurement with various phenotyping sensors.
Plants are grown in boxes of 535 liter (inside size 111 x 71 x61 cm) filled with local soil or another desired substrate depending on the research performed. The facility gives place to 120 miniplots of which 30 are placed outside. The remaining 90 miniplots are placed in a non-heated greenhouse at Campus Klein-Altendorf. The miniplots are equipped with a drip irrigation system that can be operated automatically. Multiple environmental sensors are placed in the miniplot area including monitoring of soil conditions of a few plots.

Picture MiniPlotsMiniplots facility with up to 120 soil boxes at Campus Klein-Altendorf

The automatic positioning system is moving above the plots inside and outside in the y- x and z direction. In the y direction it can move from plot row to plot row whereas above the plots in the x direction it can move with an accuracy of <2cm. In the z direction the positioning system can move between 1 to 2 meter distances from the surface of the miniplot. The position system has a universal mounting platform that allows attaching of various phenotyping sensors up to a weight of 50kg. Phenotyping sensors that are in use are for example the LIFT, single RGB and stereo imaging set up, thermal and spectral camera’s.