High-throughput phenotyping is emerging as an important technology to dissect phenotypic components in plants. Efficient image processing and feature extraction are prerequisites to quantify plant growth and performance based on phenotypic traits. Issues include data management, image analysis, and result visualization of large-scale phenotypic data sets. Here, we present Integrated Analysis Platform (IAP), an open-source framework for high-throughput plant phenotyping. IAP provides user-friendly interfaces, and its core functions are highly adaptable. Our system supports image data transfer from different acquisition environments and large-scale image analysis for different plant species based on real-time imaging data obtained from different spectra. Due to the huge amount of data to manage, we utilized a common data structure for efficient storage and organization of data for both input data and result data. We implemented a block-based method for automated image processing to extract a representative list of plant phenotypic traits. We also provide tools for build-in data plotting and result export. For validation of IAP, we performed an example experiment that contains 33 maize (Zea mays 'Fernandez') plants, which were grown for 9 weeks in an automated greenhouse with nondestructive imaging. Subsequently, the image data were subjected to automated analysis with the maize pipeline implemented in our system. We found that the computed digital volume and number of leaves correlate with our manually measured data in high accuracy up to 0.98 and 0.95, respectively. In summary, IAP provides a multiple set of functionalities for import/export, management, and automated analysis of high-throughput plant phenotyping data, and its analysis results are highly reliable.
School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University
Nanjing 210023, China