Combining 3D & Gravimetric data from plants to breed climate smart crops

Vincent Vadez (CGIAR / IRD) & Gregoire Hummel (Phenospex)


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Understanding the transpiration rate of plants and its regulation to changing environments or applied agricultural agents are essential to identify water saving traits or properties so that plants can better resist drought. Gravimetric platforms are a simple, but very effective tool to assess the transpiration rates of entire plants in high temporal resolution and in high-throughput, however it is essential to normalize the transpiration of a plant to its leaf area. This is a unique feature of Phenospex products that deliver both in one package/run. Transpiration rates are assessed with load cells and the shoot is captured with high-tech multispectral 3D scanner PlantEye.

To demonstrate the power of this combination we invited Dr. Vincent Vadez from IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) in France to talk about his latest research, in which he demonstrates how to identify genotypes with drought tolerance potential. Such an analytical approach can be directly used for prescriptive breeding applications.


Kar, S., Tanaka, R., Korbu, L.B. et al. Automated discretization of ‘transpiration restriction to increasing VPD’ features from outdoors high-throughput phenotyping data. Plant Methods 16, 140 (2020).


Speaker Information

Vincent Vadez, Principal Scientist CGIAR / IRD

Agronomist and crop physiologist working on the genetic and mechanistic deciphering of plant traits, and of trait-environment interactions, contributing to drought adaptation, which involves the development of high throughput phenotyping methods and the use of crop simulation modelling to predict trait/management effects on crop yield across time and geographical scales.


Grégoire Hummel, CEO Phenospex

Grégoire Hummel, PhD – Co-founder CEO, is plant scientist and earned his PhD at the Research Center Jülich and Max Planck Institute Jena, two world leading institutes in plant science and plant phenotyping. He worked in an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists and physicists and co-developed several methods for automated and non-invasive assessment of crops. After his PhD he worked within a European project together with growers on methods to improve crop management with remote sensing technologies.

During his PHD, Grégoire realized that digitalization will be the major driver to reduce the impact of agriculture on the world. This big need for automated crop assessment of crops was the reason for Grégoire to found Phenospex and it still is the framework for the solutions Phenospex provides.


Company Description(s)

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)

IRD researchers address major development challenges regarding environment, sustainable development of living resources, social studies and health.

IRD is a French public research institute working for the development of Southern countries, reporting to the Ministries responsible for research and overseas development. IRD is managing for more than sixty years research, consultancy and capacity building activities in Africa, the Mediterranean basin, Asia, Latin America and French overseas territories.



Our goal is to move agriculture towards sustainability and we believe digitalization will be the major driver in this process. Many Researchers and companies are working towards the same goal, we build the tools that accelerate their impact on a sustainable impact.

Therefore we build smart sensors and software to analyze plants in any environment. With these high precision tools we automate entire phenotyping processes for plant science, breeding and agriculture.

Our core sensor, PlantEye, is a 3D-multispectral laser scanner, specifically designed to assess crops in any environment. It provides many plant parameters like plant growth, biomass and plant health in real time.

Phenospex automates many processes in plant science, breeding and agriculture where precise information on plants is required. Our sensors are also used in smart farming/ farming automation robots as the eye that detects and analyzes the plants.