Danforth Plant Science Center develops PheNode, a farm-ready phenotyping sensor


In Missouri, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center researchers demonstrated the PheNode, a farm-ready, solar-powered environmental sensor and phenotyping station for crops. Able to monitor directly within the plant canopy, modular sensors and cameras take real-time measurements of temperature, humidity, CO2, rainfall, air quality, wind speed, light quantity and quality, soil moisture, soil temperature, pH and nutrient composition.

Nadia Shakoor, Ph.D., research scientist in the Todd Mockler laboratory said, “The PheNode provides growers with an affordable and comprehensive crop phenotyping system that will provide a snapshot into a crop plant’s environment. With a suite of diverse sensors on the PheNode, we can continuously monitor field crops for growth rate, stem diameter, height, leaf shape, leaf angles, canopy closure, light interception and the relationship of these traits to enhanced canopy photosynthesis. The PheNode will help crop science innovators to identify ideal canopy architectural and leaf metabolic features to breed crops for increased yield.”