2021 Journal Impact Factor: 6.961

Plant Phenomics ranks #3 of 90 journals in Agronomy, #18 of 238 journals in Plant Sciences, #6 of 34 journals in Remote Sensing categories from Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate, 2022).

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Journal profile

The open access journal Plant Phenomics, published in association with NAU, publishes novel research that advances plant phenotyping and connects phenomics with other research domains.

Editorial board

Plant Phenomics' editorial board is led by Seishi Ninomiya (University of Tokyo), Frédéric Baret (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment), and Zong-Ming Cheng (Nanjing Agricultural University/University of Tennessee) and is comprised of leading experts in the field.

Latest Articles

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Research Article

End-to-End Fusion of Hyperspectral and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Imaging to Identify Rice Stresses

Herbicides and heavy metals are hazardous substances of environmental pollution, resulting in plant stress and harming humans and animals. Identification of stress types can help trace stress sources, manage plant growth, and improve stress-resistant breeding. In this research, hyperspectral imaging (HSI) and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging (Chl-FI) were adopted to identify the rice plants under two types of herbicide stresses (butachlor (DCA) and quinclorac (ELK)) and two types of heavy metal stresses (cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu)). Visible/near-infrared spectra of leaves (L-VIS/NIR) and stems (S-VIS/NIR) extracted from HSI and chlorophyll fluorescence kinetic curves of leaves (L-Chl-FKC) and stems (S-Chl-FKC) extracted from Chl-FI were fused to establish the models to detect the stress of the hazardous substances. Novel end-to-end deep fusion models were proposed for low-level, middle-level, and high-level information fusion to improve identification accuracy. Results showed that the high-level fusion-based convolutional neural network (CNN) models reached the highest detection accuracy (97.7%), outperforming the models using a single data source (<94.7%). Furthermore, the proposed end-to-end deep fusion models required a much simpler training procedure than the conventional two-stage deep learning fusion. This research provided an efficient alternative for plant stress phenotyping, including identifying plant stresses caused by hazardous substances of environmental pollution.

Research Article

3dCAP-Wheat: An Open-Source Comprehensive Computational Framework Precisely Quantifies Wheat Foliar, Nonfoliar, and Canopy Photosynthesis

Canopy photosynthesis is the sum of photosynthesis of all above-ground photosynthetic tissues. Quantitative roles of nonfoliar tissues in canopy photosynthesis remain elusive due to methodology limitations. Here, we develop the first complete canopy photosynthesis model incorporating all above-ground photosynthetic tissues and validate this model on wheat with state-of-the-art gas exchange measurement facilities. The new model precisely predicts wheat canopy gas exchange rates at different growth stages, weather conditions, and canopy architectural perturbations. Using the model, we systematically study (1) the contribution of both foliar and nonfoliar tissues to wheat canopy photosynthesis and (2) the responses of wheat canopy photosynthesis to plant physiological and architectural changes. We found that (1) at tillering, heading, and milking stages, nonfoliar tissues can contribute ~4, ~32, and ~50% of daily gross canopy photosynthesis (; ~2, ~15, and ~-13% of daily net canopy photosynthesis, ) and absorb ~6, ~42, and ~60% of total light, respectively; (2) under favorable condition, increasing spike photosynthetic activity, rather than enlarging spike size or awn size, can enhance canopy photosynthesis; (3) covariation in tissue respiratory rate and photosynthetic rate may be a major factor responsible for less than expected increase in daily ; and (4) in general, erect leaves, lower spike position, shorter plant height, and proper plant densities can benefit daily . Overall, the model, together with the facilities for quantifying plant architecture and tissue gas exchange, provides an integrated platform to study canopy photosynthesis and support rational design of photosynthetically efficient wheat crops.

Research Article

Shortwave Radiation Calculation for Forest Plots Using Airborne LiDAR Data and Computer Graphics

Forested environments feature a highly complex radiation regime, and solar radiation is hindered from penetrating into the forest by the 3D canopy structure; hence, canopy shortwave radiation varies spatiotemporally, seasonally, and meteorologically, making the radiant flux challenging to both measure and model. Here, we developed a synergetic method using airborne LiDAR data and computer graphics to model the forest canopy and calculate the radiant fluxes of three forest plots (conifer, broadleaf, and mixed). Directional incident solar beams were emitted according to the solar altitude and azimuth angles, and the forest canopy surface was decomposed into triangular elements. A ray tracing algorithm was utilized to simulate the propagation of reflected and transmitted beams within the forest canopy. Our method accurately modeled the solar radiant fluxes and demonstrated good agreement () with the plot-scale results of hemispherical photo-based HPEval software and pyranometer measurements. The maximum incident radiant flux appeared in the conifer plot at noon on June 15 due to the largest solar altitude angle (81.21°) and dense clustering of tree crowns; the conifer plot also received the maximum reflected radiant flux (10.91-324.65 kW) due to the higher reflectance of coniferous trees and the better absorption of reflected solar beams. However, the broadleaf plot received more transmitted radiant flux (37.7-226.71 kW) for the trees in the shaded area due to the larger transmittance of broadleaf species. Our method can directly simulate the detailed plot-scale distribution of canopy radiation and is valuable for researching light-dependent biophysiological processes.

Research Article

Unsupervised Plot-Scale LAI Phenotyping via UAV-Based Imaging, Modelling, and Machine Learning

High-throughput phenotyping has become the frontier to accelerate breeding through linking genetics to crop growth estimation, which requires accurate estimation of leaf area index (LAI). This study developed a hybrid method to train the random forest regression (RFR) models with synthetic datasets generated by a radiative transfer model to estimate LAI from UAV-based multispectral images. The RFR models were evaluated on both (i) subsets from the synthetic datasets and (ii) observed data from two field experiments (i.e., Exp16, Exp19). Given the parameter ranges and soil reflectance are well calibrated in synthetic training data, RFR models can accurately predict LAI from canopy reflectance captured in field conditions, with systematic overestimation for LAI<2 due to background effect, which can be addressed by applying background correction on original reflectance map based on vegetation-background classification. Overall, RFR models achieved accurate LAI prediction from background-corrected reflectance for Exp16 (correlation coefficient () of 0.95, determination coefficient () of 0.90~0.91, root mean squared error (RMSE) of 0.36~0.40 m2 m-2, relative root mean squared error (RRMSE) of 25~28%) and less accurate for Exp19 ( =0.80~0.83,  = 0.63~0.69, RMSE of 0.84~0.86 m2 m-2, RRMSE of 30~31%). Additionally, RFR models correctly captured spatiotemporal variation of observed LAI as well as identified variations for different growing stages and treatments in terms of genotypes and management practices (i.e., planting density, irrigation, and fertilization) for two experiments. The developed hybrid method allows rapid, accurate, nondestructive phenotyping of the dynamics of LAI during vegetative growth to facilitate assessments of growth rate including in breeding program assessments.

Review Article

A Review of High-Throughput Field Phenotyping Systems: Focusing on Ground Robots

Manual assessments of plant phenotypes in the field can be labor-intensive and inefficient. The high-throughput field phenotyping systems and in particular robotic systems play an important role to automate data collection and to measure novel and fine-scale phenotypic traits that were previously unattainable by humans. The main goal of this paper is to review the state-of-the-art of high-throughput field phenotyping systems with a focus on autonomous ground robotic systems. This paper first provides a brief review of nonautonomous ground phenotyping systems including tractors, manually pushed or motorized carts, gantries, and cable-driven systems. Then, a detailed review of autonomous ground phenotyping robots is provided with regard to the robot’s main components, including mobile platforms, sensors, manipulators, computing units, and software. It also reviews the navigation algorithms and simulation tools developed for phenotyping robots and the applications of phenotyping robots in measuring plant phenotypic traits and collecting phenotyping datasets. At the end of the review, this paper discusses current major challenges and future research directions.

Research Article

Moxa Wool in Different Purities and Different Growing Years Measured by Terahertz Spectroscopy

Moxa wool is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which can warm channels to dispel coldness. At present, there is no unified index to evaluate the purity and growing years of moxa wool in the market. Terpineol is one of the effective substances in the volatile oil of moxa wool. Here, we characterize the purity and growing years of moxa wool by studying terpineol. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are the methods for monitoring terpineol at present, all of which have defects of complicated procedures. We established linear fitting to distinguish the different purities of moxa wool through the intensities (areas) of terpineol, the characteristic peaks, and the consequence presented; the coefficient of determination () was higher than 0.90. Furthermore, based on the characteristic peak position of standard terpineol, the correlation model with the purity and growing year of moxa wool was set up, thereby differentiating the quality of moxa wool. We have built the partial least squares (PLS) model of the growing years of moxa wool with high accuracy, and the determination coefficient is greater than 0.98. In addition, we compare the quantitative accuracy of Raman spectroscopy with terahertz technology. Finally, a new method of terahertz spectroscopy to evaluate quality of moxa wool was found. It provides a new idea for the identification of inferior moxa wool in the market and a new method for identifying the quality of moxa wool in traditional Chinese medicine.