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PhenoFab LemnaTec and KeyGene® establish PhenoFab™: the automated plant phenotyping facility

First issued: 10th October 2010 ©LemnaTec 2010

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LemnaTec and KeyGene® establish PhenoFab™: the automated plant phenotyping facility Today, KeyGene and LemnaTec announce the start of their joint plant phenotyping facility

Trait Spotting – our Busi-

PhenoFab in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

ness In

In the era of Plant Genomics the amount of DNA information of crops has been enormously the



increased. Therefore more effective and reliable phenotyping data has become the bottle-



neck in modern genetic crop improvement. PhenoFab is one of the first facilities which ex-


actly address the Phenotyping bottleneck by providing contracted research solutions to this

one of the most crucial

problem. This will surely generate new opportunities for the seed industry, breeding insti-

aspects of variety devel-

tutes and academic breeding groups.

opment. Phenotyping is laborious


The new PhenoFab center is a fully automated greenhouse facility with a total capacity of up


to 1300 plants on the conveyor belt system. The system has three different imaging sta-

significant experience and

tions, enabling automated 3D imaging and image analysis in visible light, near infrared light

a professional breeder’s

(enabling water content measurements) and fluorescent light (enabling the visualization of

eye. The high complexity of agronomically

Chlorophyll or other fluorescent substances e.g. GFP or other reporter genes)


With an existing automated phenotyping system, KeyGene and LemnaTec have generated

traits makes it even more

phenotyping experience for a number of crops (e.g. maize, tobacco, potato, canola and vari-

difficult to perform objec-

ous vegetable crops), a number of traits (e.g. drought resistance, growth and yield, quality

tive and robust phenotyp-

traits, various biotic stresses and root development). Impressed by and building on the strik-

ing in a high throughput

ing results and commercial opportunities, a new system has been developed and installed


that is now available as a screening device for the seed industry on a fee for service base. The PhenoFab facility is located in Wageningen in the heart of the Dutch Agro Food Center of

In contrast, the enormous

Excellence: Food Valley. It combines the proprietary and excellent second generation auto-

accomplishments that have been


mated imaging and conveyor belt system developed and marketed by the German company


LemnaTec and the deep plant breeding and phenotyping algorithm expertise of the Dutch

highthroughput, sequencebased


Ag-Biotech company KeyGene.


emphasize the need to

Dirk Vandenhirtz CEO of LemnaTec:

scale up the development of automated phenotyping

“…with our PhenoFab commitment we hope to shift Phenomic research onto a higher level. The combination of experiences from LemnaTec and KeyGene will enable the facility to provide state of the art services in Plant Phenotyping research. LemnaTec has worked in Scientific Image Processing since 1998 and has installed Phenotyping Systems all over the world. With this new joint plant phenotyping facility it is now the first time that LemnaTec will offer direct research services in Plant Phenomics to breeders. This project has a great strategic value for LemnaTec and we look forward to extending our business into Plant Phenotyping Services

technology. PhenoFab™ is a



operation that combines high-throughput,


invasive technology with trait



exploit phenotypic variation. It closes the “phenotyping gap”.



LemnaTec GmbH · Schumanstr. 18 · 52146 Würselen · Germany Phone: +49 24 05  41 26-15 ·

Arjen J. van Tunen, CEO of KeyGene:

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“With these new facilities in Food Valley we have now the possibility to generate reliable and robust phenotypic data in a fast and nondestructive way. We can combine these data with our wealth of knowledge of the DNA of the crops involved and create breakthrough opportunities concerning traits that can be directly used in practical breeding programs. Already from the experimental set up we were able to generate new BioMarkers that are now practically used to genetically improve crops for economically highly relevant traits that were otherwise not or only difficult to determine. I have high expectations that our strategic collaboration with the engineering experts of LemnaTec will bring big advancements for us and our clients“ For further information, please contact: LemnaTec GmbH Schumanstr. 18 52146 Wuerselen Germany



LemnaTec GmbH · Schumanstr. 18 · 52146 Würselen · Germany Phone: +49 24 05  41 26-15 ·

PhenoFab opening reception  

Phenomic Service By LemnaTec and Keygene

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