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Photo: Aakash Chawade, SLU.

6P2 – The Nordic PPP Plant Phenotyping Project – Phase 2

Project leader:

Professor Svend Christensen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Denmark

Project partners:

Plant breeding entities: Danespo, Denmark; DLF, Denmark; Findus, Sweden; Graminor, Norway; Lantmännen, Sweden; Secobra Recherches, Sweden; Sejet Planteforædling, Denmark
Academic institutions: Agricultural University of Iceland (LBHI), Iceland; National Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), Finland; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
Associate partners: Estonian Crop Research Institute, Estonia; Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (LAMMC), Lithuania

Project grants:

2018–2020; TDKK 12.195.964 from PPP and Partners
Main goals:
  • Developing high-throughput plant phenotyping approaches, based on consumer grade unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and camera technologies.
  • Linking high-throughput genotyping and phenotyping methods to provide new insights into genotype and environment interactions, thereby creating a strong platform for the development and implementation of cost efficient plant breeding technologies for field applications.
  • Facilitate networking and knowledge exchange on plant phenotyping among Nordic plant breeding companies, research institutions and technology providers.
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and camera equipment for automated field phenotyping is a relatively low-cost technology with many consumer-grade devices available. It has the potential to contribute to the increased competitiveness of Nordic breeding companies, while also providing manifold returns on investments within a relatively short period. In the 6P2 project we have applied UAVs and remote sensing technologies in a variety of trials to target different traits. Different UAV and cameras have been tested, and large amounts of data have been collected in a collaboration between private and public partners. A new software solution, PlotCut3, has been developed in the project for UAV image management and extraction. The software has been implemented in a free and open-source solution and made available to the partners to exploit the collected data. This has achieved results that are applicable for the plant breeders in their day-to-day operations.
The continuation of the Nordic Plant Phenotyping Network has also been an integral part of the 6P2 activities and has continued to support the development of field phenotyping activities. The network has functioned as a forum for exchanging knowledge and new ideas and has created a solid platform for communication between plant breeders and researchers. The opportunity to include Baltic organizations as associate partners in the project has been a great benefit for the project and has pinpointed where Nordic regional development and closer collaboration is highly relevant.
The collaboration will continue in the Nordic Public Private Partnership Plant Phenotyping Project – Phase 3 (6P3), which has been generously supported by NordGen.
/Lene Rasmussen, Senior Executive Consultant, University of Copenhagen