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Partnership NWO-domein TTW-Rijk Zwaan

Plant diseases are major threats in global agriculture, accounting for severe reductions in global yields. Not surprisingly, breeding companies invest generously in breeding programmes related to plant disease resistances. So far, plant disease severity is assessed with visual inspection of plants by trained professionals, who categorize disease severity according to a pre-defined scale. While this approach has been employed to identify resistance sources for decades, it is subject to intrinsic pitfalls which reduce the reliability of disease estimates. In addition, substantial variation is observed both between individual professionals as well as between different assessments by the same professional. This problem is becoming more and more important for the identification of plant genotypes holding rather intermediate albeit stable resistance to a wide range of plant pathogens. As a solution, the use of automated and high-throughput digital imaging in plant disease phenotyping may allow for accurate, reproducible and multi-dimensional data collection. In turn, this will greatly facilitate accurate trait discovery as well as the efficient development of diagnostic molecular markers in plant breeding programmes.

The aim of the Partnership programme titled ‘Digital phenotyping of plan-pathogen interactions’ is to generate a quantum leap for the efficient phenotyping of disease resistance tests.

The unique character of the Partnership programme is the collaboration of Rijk Zwaan and technical as well as ‘green’ universities on the cutting edge of plant responses and data generation and their interpretation. This will provide new links between research groups focusing on ‘traditional’ phenotyping of plant diseases and research groups that focus on ‘technical’ elements such as imaging and scanning facilities. As initiator of this Partnership programme, Rijk Zwaan will ensure the translation of this research towards practical and value-adding tools.

More information can be found on the Open Call page.

Bekijk alle projecten van dit programma

PATHOVIEW: automated imaging of pathogen-infection of crops to understand, track, and quantify disease resistance traits

Research on pathogenic microbes and host plant resistance is hampered by the lack of automated imaging methods. To effectively identify and use pla...

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Universiteit Utrecht
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Partnership NWO-domein TTW-Rijk Zwaan

The call “Digital Phenotyping of plant-pathogen interactions” is available for research that enables accurate and quantitative phenotyping of pathogens or pests on diseased plant material through a combinational approach of hardware selection and development, 3D imaging and/or visualization of pathogens.
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