Growth Capsule for Energy Controlled Plant Phenomics

The Growth Capsule couples revolutions in multispectral LED lighting and imaging with precise thermal and moisture control to regulate and record plant physiology, growth and development. The system is modular, scalable, water and energy efficient and can be deployed anywhere. It is the next generation in controlled environment growth facilities and a new standard for collaborative research and analysis. This research equipment underpins the emerging paradigm of urban agriculture.

Four GrowthCapsules were installed at ANU in 2019 as part of the Grain Phenomics Climate Facility

This facility provides real time plant phenotyping and field realistic environmental control to capture traits with advanced genomic analysis. The energy efficient growth chambers contain multispectral LED lights, temperature, and moisture controls that simulate dynamic stress, weather or climate environments which regulate growth and development. Multiple overlapping cameras will be installed across the light shelf to provide real-time 3 dimensional phenotyping of size, shape and color change. Software for environmental control, remote visualization, supervised and automated trait extraction, genome wide association studies and crop modeling will be integrated and results shared in public plant phenomics databases.

Details about a Prototype Growth Capsule container.  It has 2 rooms each with 3×12=36 trays of plants. A tray can hold 20 small pots (6x6cm) or 6 large pots (10x12cm) at various depths.  The Growth Capsule has precision temperature -4 to 40C and humidity control using a cooling wall. It has high light up to >1400uE from up to 6 wave bands (Royal Blue, Blue, Cyan, White, Red, FarRed). There will be many overlapping cameras for time lapse imaging, 3D point cloud reconstruction, and multi spectral capture.