Advances in Plant Imaging, Spectrometry and Cultivation
March 8, 2023
Qubit Systems is proud to be the EXCLUSIVE North American distributor for Photon Systems Instruments. Both companies have been in business for over 26 years, providing novel and innovative instruments for monitoring and controlling plant physiology and biochemical status. Our extensive product line ranges from compact handheld instruments to large-scale high-throughput plant phenotyping systems. Our products feature in numerous peer-reviewed publications, and we maintain active research collaborations with laboratories worldwide via our Plant Phenotyping Research Center in Brno. We are always happy to discuss your research to offer the most appropriate and affordable solutions
Our high-throughput plant phenotyping systems have imaging options for hyperspectral and multispectral analysis, RGB analysis, analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics, 3D- reconstruction by laser point cloud analysis, and thermal imaging, as well as automatic watering, weighing, fertigation, and a suite of environmental sensors. Systems can be customized for your available space and for your species on interest. Numerous configurations are offered for sensor-to-plant (robotic) and plant-to-sensor (conveyor-based) systems. Field-based systems may be deployed on gantries or fully autonomous tractors with GPS tracking. For extensive details on most of our phenotyping systems, please click HERE. For videos of our phenotyping systems in operation, please click HERE. We also offer root phenotyping systems that may be integrated with our shoot analysis conveyor-based configurations. To see a video click HERE.
We offer numerous options for plant cultivation, including small reach-in controlled environmental cabinets, large-scale growth chambers with multi-layered shelving and individually controlled lighting, and extensive greenhouse facilities. Our unique, self contained Growth Capsules are sophisticated, environmentally controlled laboratories built into 40-feet freight containers that may be deployed wherever there is a source of water and power. For more on Growth Capsules click HERE. For more on all of our cultivation options click HERE. All of our growth facilities may be equipped with robotic sensor-to-plant phenotyping systems with the range of imaging options described above. We recently completed installation of our lighting and phenotypings system at the state-of-the-art very large-scale Cultivation Hall at IPK Gatersleben (see HERE). We are proud that our environmental control, in terms of accuracy and homogeneity, is unmatched by our competitors.
FluorCams for Chlorophyll Fluorescence Kinetic Imaging
Photon Systems Instruments were the first company to develop a commercial system for imaging chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics. Chlorophyll fluorescence is an extremely valuable technique in plant physiology used for rapid noninvasive measurements of photosystem II activity. PSII is very sensitive to numerous biotic and abiotic factors, so that chlorophyll fluorescence may be used as a rapid indicator of photosynthetic performance in response to changing environmental conditions, and during different developmental stages of the plant. The FluorCam imaging systems monitors fluorescence kinetics using a pulse amplitude modulated method PAM for quenching analysis and OJIP analysis that allow all major fluorescence parameters (not just Fv/Fm) to be measured and imaged. Our FluorCams are designed to image areas of 3×3, 13×13, 20×20, 35×35 and 80×80 cm. We also offer a microscope-based system that can measure fluorescence parameters in individual chloroplasts. All FluorCams can be offered with a module for imaging a range of other compounds (such as GFP, YFP and plant pigments) in addition to monitoring chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics. For more on the FluorCam family of products click HERE. For a video tutorial click HERE.
Other Self-Contained Imaging Devices
All of PSI’s imaging modalities are offered as stand-alone systems, or in compact combinations, with manual or semi-automatic loading and unloading of plants. These include VNIR and SWIR hyperspectral cameras with associated light sources, motors, cabinets and software, all built at the PSI facility. For specifications click HERE. We offer a unique multispectral camera with five dichroic filters and a single objective, so that multiple images of the same sample imaged at different spectral bandwidths may be obtained simultaneously. Our thermal imaging system has a temperature-controlled wall so that the plant image is easily and accurately segmented. Our RGB and laser-scattering devices can each be used to monitor aspects of plant growth and morphometrics. Whatever your plant imaging requirements, we can provide an accurate and cost-effective solution. Please contact us for a free and non-binding consultation.
Handheld Non-Imaging Devices
Our handheld devices include chlorophyll fluorescence fluorometers (Fluorpens) that measure all quenching parameters, as well as OJIP. Automated light response curves can be user-defined, as well as as other protocols. Our monitoring Fluorpen can be used for automated data acquisition in remote and severe environments. Our PlantPens can be used to monitor NDVI, PRI and NDGI (for nitrogen content), while our Polypens record the entire reflectance spectrum from the sample (380-790nm or 640-1050nm) allowing numerous plant reflective indices to be calculated for the same part of the leaf. Our LAI-pen measures Leaf Area Index (LAI), defined as one-sided green leaf area per unit ground surface area (m2 per m2) in broadleaf canopies. Our Spectrapen is a low-cost, spectrophotometer for rapid measurements of solar irradiance and monitoring of spectral light quality. An external light source and sample holder enable use of the SpectraPen for measurements of absorption, reflectance, transmittance, emission, color and fluorescence of various samples. The Spectrapen Mini is an affordable calibrated spectroradiometer and quantum light meter, controlled via mobile application that measures spectral quality, light intensity and color. The device is calibrated for visible light in the range from 360 to 850 nm. For more on all our handheld devices, please click HERE.
Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence
Qubit Systems has recently partnered with JB Hyperspectral to provide remote sensing equipment for monitoring plant dynamics. The FLOX Box is a self-contained dual hyperspectral system for monitoring long and short-term fluctuations in Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF). SIF is considered the most direct, non-invasive remote-sensing signal for tracking photosynthetic activity and its dynamics at the leaf, canopy, ecosystem, and global scale. Accurate measurements of SIF are crucial for understanding photosynthesis and its dynamics in the field. SIF may be used to monitor changes in plant and algal responses to environmental factors that may affect growth and yield, including temperature, water and nutrient availability, the effects of herbicides and pesticides, pollution, herbivory, plant pathogens and other abiotic and biotic stresses. The FLOX represents the most advanced system available for SIF measurements in agriculture, forestry and other remote locations. For FLOX Box specifications and publications please click HERE
Remote Hyperspectral Reflective Measurements
The reflectance box (ROX) is a robust tool for collecting hyperspectral time series measurements from a crop canopy. Fully autonomous operation, and rugged weatherproof design paired with low power consumption make it a simple but sophisticated device for all kinds of reflectance measurements. The ROX is an automated field spectroscopy device capable of collecting unattended, continuous, long-term hyperspectral measurements. It was developed from a collaboration between Jülich Research Center and the Remote Sensing of Environmental Dynamics Laboratory of the University Milano Bicocca, and is designed for long term measurements of solar radiance, reflected radiance and reflectance. Its robustness and flexibility make the ROX suitable for numerous applications, including vegetation monitoring (numerous reflective vegetation indices such as NDVI, PRI etc.), and monitoring water quality, snow and ice. For FLOX Box specifications and publications please click HERE.