European Infrastructure for Plant Phenotyping
EMPHASIS will enable researchers to use facilities, resources and services for plant phenotyping across Europe. Our vision is to help scientists better understand plant performance and translate this knowledge into application.
Why do we need plant phenotyping?
Today, the yield of key crops typically increases by about 1% per year , which is below the required rate of 1.5-2.2% improvement to meet increased global demand (FAO). In the past decades, genetic improvement has been a major source of yield increase, together with improved cropping systems. Designing high yielding varieties adapted to contrasting environmental conditions including those associated with climate change and new agricultural management systems is an urgent priority. However, creating new varieties in plant breeding is a long-term process, as developing and bringing new varieties to the markets may take up 15 years or even more.
While genotyping is now very rapid and relatively cheap due to “industrialized sequencing pipelines”, plant phenotyping, i.e., the quantitative analysis of crop performance, remains a bottleneck. Substantial and concerted action for accelerating development and increasing availability of phenotyping infrastructures is required to substantially accelerate plant breeding. This is addressed by the establishment of an integrated plant phenotyping infrastructure.
EMPHASIS plays a key role by integrating the European plant phenotyping infrastructure and ensuring an effective utilisation of synergies.