International Controlled Environment Plant Phenotyping Group -- IcePPG


Thomas Altmann, IPK Gatersleben, Germany

Astrid Junker, IPK Gatersleben, Germany




IcePPG focuses on the assessment of plant performance traits expressed under well-defined, experimental conditions simulating diverse present and future climate scenarios and aims to bring together researchers, who run plant phenotyping facilities (platforms) in controlled environments that are able to simulate different climatic conditions, with scientists from other related fields -- plant geneticists, (eco)physiologists, developmental biologists, agronomists, climate researchers, soil scientists, bioinformaticians, and biologists concerned with modeling plant developmental and physiological processes and climate scenarios, and sensor technology developers who are interested in either using facilities or contributing to concept, technology, and/or method development. In particular, the group will establish links between the members of the plant phenotyping community (especially those running phenotyping platforms) and the International Controlled Environment User Groups (including NCERA-101, NCR-101, UK CEUG, GCEU, etc.). Furthermore, the interaction with researchers developing and running intensive field experimentation sites for plant phenotyping shall be supported and fostered.

The goals of this workgroup are:

  • to monitor the development/establishment of new (controlled environment) facilities and experimental procedures
  • to support and strengthen the interaction with meteorologists / climate researchers to define expected future climate scenarios (taking regional differences into account)
  • to develop novel concepts of how to treat plants in order to simulate within closed facilities what happens in field (in current and future climates) and to elicit and detect corresponding responses and to enhance corresponding technology development
  • to write statements on how these concepts can be implemented and fostered (> as input especially for funding agencies)
  • to inform interested users on the specialities of the various accessible platforms and the experimental and analytical opportunities offered

Finally the aim of the novel concepts and procedures focusses on the screening and evaluation of plant genetic diversity (Genbank stocks / diversity collections; sets of specifically modified lines) in order to associate agronomically relevant phenotypes (including the acclimation ability to future climate scenarios) with the underlying genetic determinants for trait expression (e.g. map corresponding QTLs, verify effects of genetic modifications). This builds the basis for the development of improved idiotypes with optimized performance under future climate scenarios.