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Shanghai Jiao Tong University tested responses to root zone water availability

Researchers of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University used a LemnaTec Greenhouse Scanalyzer to assess the impact of root zone water availability on shoot growth performance of pakchoi (Brassica rapa chinensis) plants. Aim was to establish a method to discriminate root zone water availability levels by applying shoot phenotyping methods. Visible light and near-infrared camera recordings were processed with LemnaGrid software. Resulting parameters on morphology, colour, and NIR reflectance were used in machine learning approaches in order to conclude from phenotypic traits to the root zone water availability. Particularly colour and NIR reflectance turned out to be good indicators of the root zone water status. This phenotype-based root zone water status rating method offers application potential for irrigation control in horticulture, particularly for indoor-cultivated plants. Phenotype-driven precision irrigation can minimise water stress during cultivation.

Guo, Doudou; Juan, Jiaxiang; Chang, Liying; Zhang, Jingjin; Huang, Danfeng (2017): Discrimination of plant root zone water status in greenhouse production based on phenotyping and machine learning techniques. In: Scientific reports 7 (1), S. 8303. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08235-z.