NPEC Ecotron Facility

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NPEC’s ecotron facility is to be realized at Utrecht University and will consist of a range of fully closed and controlled mesocosm systems that allow for real-life plant (agro-) ecosystem analyses in real time.

In the past year, we have selected UGT Umwelt-Geräte-Technik (UGT) as the most capable manufacturer for these mesocosms. In collaboration with UGT, and based on UGT’s extensive experience with building such systems, we have developed two protoype mesocsoms. The so-called standard model provides a full range of control and above- and belowground sensors, with air temperature controlled via ambient room conditions. The climate-controlled model allows for precise temperature and humidity control per unit. A battery of 28 standard units have been ordered to be installed in two experimental areas, thereby offering higher experimental flexibility. The 8 temperature-control units are to be installed in a separate experimental area. In total, the NPEC Ecotron facility offers a wide range of experimental flexibility and throughput, allowing researchers to precisely track above and belowground parameters at a scale and complexity level that mimics real-life conditions. Installation will proceed in two phases, with an initial realization of 8 units (4 standard and 4 temperature-controlled) for extensive testing and full installation to follow.

NPEC Newsletter

Events

Winter School on Image Analysis for Plant Phenotyping

7th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium

Latest News

Multi-environment climate chambers

16 March 2021

NPEC’s multi-environment module will host a series of 15 small climate chambers with the highest level of homogeneity in temperature, humidity and light intensity available.

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Helios: high-throughput shoot phenotyping of plant-microbe interactions

16 March 2021

We are happy to announce the arrival of NPEC’s Helios phenotyping facility for the quantitive description of shoot architectural traits and the localisation and quantification of fluorescent proteins expressed by plant shoots or associated microorganisms.

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Hades: high-throughput fluorescence-based phenotyping of in vitro root systems

16 March 2021

Together with our partner, Photon Systems Instruments, we are currently finalising the designs for the NPEC’s high-throughput in vitro root phenotyper, the Hades. The system will enable quantitive description of root growth and architecture, and the localisation and quantification of fluorescent proteins expressed by plant roots or by root-associated microorganisms.

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