Testing the Plant DiTech
Phenotyping Platform for Use in Controlled Water Deficit Experiments
Agriculture utilizes large quantities of freshwater resources to maintain crop production to a level that meets global demand. As the world population expands at a rapid rate, it is critical that we find more efficient ways to manage freshwater resources. The Plant DiTech Phenotyping Platform (Plant-DiTech LTD, Yavne, Israel) is a dynamic plant screening system that allows researchers to create controlled environments and rapidly collect a large quantity of physiological traits in real time. This platform opens the door to hundreds of potential experiments to explore growth trait responses to future environmental conditions and irrigation practices. Here, we test its utility on cultivated rice and upland cotton in a small pilot experiment. Cultivated rice (Oryza sativa ) and upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutim ) are both C3 crop species that are grown throughout the U.S. and many other countries and are critical for food and fiber production, respectively. Cotton is typically produced in the warm and dry regions of southern U.S. (USDA-ERS) where it heavily relies on irrigation practices to remain productive, while rice requires flooded conditions to maintain high productivity. Using these two test species for a preliminary experiment, a series of growth trait measurements in conjunction with system-recorded data by the Plant DiTech phenotyping platform are analyzed to test the linkages between organ- and canopy-level traits.