Fluence has been selected by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) as the LED technology partner for its new Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre (NPEC). In NPEC’s phenotyping greenhouse, VYPR DUO 3x2 fixtures are used to support research on genotype-phenotype associations.
The official opening of NPEC will take place preceding the weeklong International Plant Phenotyping Symposium 2022 (IPPS 2022), held from September 26 to 30 in Wageningen, Netherlands. Fluence, a Gold Sponsor of IPPS 2022, will attend the conference and opening of NPEC in Wageningen.
NPEC consists of six modules across two university campuses, each offering dedicated phenotyping platforms with its own measurement systems. A specialized greenhouse at the WUR campus houses five climate-controlled compartments outfitted with Fluence’s VYPR DUO 3x2 fixtures. The compartments’ 3D and hyperspectral imaging, conveyor systems, and various sensors produce high-precision measurements—including plant size, color and leaf positioning—that can be examined to understand the genetic response of plants to varied conditions and treatments, such as heat, drought or increased soil salinification.
“Using highly customizable technologies that generate high-quality plant performance data on how environmental parameters affect the plant phenotype was a key requirement when selecting our equipment partners,” said Rick van de Zedde, senior scientist and project manager for NPEC. “Having worked with Fluence for the lighting in our Serre Red high-tech quarantine greenhouse, we knew PhysioSpec™️ BROAD R4 white spectrum fixtures could help establish a near-ideal research environment in the NPEC greenhouse.”
In addition to Fluence’s VYPR top lights, which feature PhysioSpec™️ BROAD R4 white spectrum, NPEC researchers will use the Maxi-MARVIN imaging cabinet to assist in research, a high-throughput 3D modeling system developed by WUR that can reconstruct a plant’s architecture within milliseconds. Other high-tech research tools at WUR include a dark and light adaptation chamber and imaging systems capability to analyze the photosynthetic efficiency of plants.
“Establishing research on genotype-phenotype associations, specifically how ecological and environmental variables impact the plant phenotype, is essential for the development of novel, climate-proof crops,” explained van de Zedde. “Automated phenotyping will also allow for a dramatic increase in the speed of plant breeding and time to market for novel crop varieties.”
“We are honored to partner with WUR to advance the future of high-quality food production and sustainability in cultivation,” said Theo Tekstra, Fluence’s technical director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and team lead for the WUR project. “Our PhysioSpec™️ BROAD R4 white spectrum came closest to what the WUR scientific team defined as an ideal spectrum to do year-round research on a wide range of plant species.”