Experiment: LettuceKnow

This project has been set up in order to make lettuce more resistant to pathogens and the effects of climate change as well as to improve its performance in new growing systems. To this end, researchers from institutions including Utrecht University will map the properties and genetic codes of 500 wild and cultivated lettuce varieties.

Experiment Aim

Lettuce is the quintessential leafy salad green and important component of a healthy diet, with a ~$11 billion global production value. A major challenge for breeders is to develop resilient and sustainable varieties that are adapted to changing climate conditions, emerging disease threats and technological growth innovations such as vertical farming and LED illumination. LettuceKnow will investigate key resilience and architecture traits and identify underlying molecular mechanisms and genes by combining: large-scale transcriptomics of 500 diverse wild and cultivated lettuce accessions, cutting-edge phenotyping, powerful integrative bioinformatics & machine learning, and state-of-the-art biological approaches.

NPEC Usage

The NPEC TraitSeeker was used to collect data of 400 types of lettuce over 10 days of in total 28.000 lettuce plants. It enables the LettuceKnow researchers to measure traits in the field in a high throughput way from a plot level, to a plant level to a leaf level. Next to that LettuceKnow has used the NPEC UAV M210 to screen the field with the high-resolution RGB camera and the multispectral camera. Ten terabytes of data has been collected, with thousands of measurement points per plant.

Experiment Researchers

The LettuceKnow project, led by Utrecht University Professor Guido van den Ackerveken. Dr. Basten Snoek is PI within LettuceKnow and performing the NPEC data data analysis. This project is a collaboration of Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research, Leiden University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Bejo Zaden, the Netherlands Centre for Genetic Resources, ENZA Zaden, Rijk Zwaan, Syngenta, Takii & Co. Ltd and Vilmorin & Cie.