Research Capabilities

Photos shot 7/2 in the Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility (CEPF) and the Horticulture Greenhouses at the request of Erin Robinson, Phil Fiorini and Nancy Alexander. Photos will be used with web stories by Alexander for Ag Comm and Fiorini with Purdue’s Marketing and Media.

Purdue's Ag Alumni Seed Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility (CEPF) employs a novel automated phenotyping system that facilitates plant growth and high-throughput plant measurements. We support a broad range of applications in plant science, crop breeding, agricultural engineering, molecular biology and plant pathology to name a few.

As researchers increasingly have access to relatively inexpensive genotypic data, there is a need for quantitative phenotypic data to complement this information.

The CEPF bridges this gap by explaining gene function and revealing how plants respond to a changing environment – a critical step in addressing the growing global demand for food, fuel and fiber.

Plant growth

  • 256-plant capacity
  • Precise environmental controls
  • Automated conveyors for plant growth and randomization
  • 60,000-square-feet of connected greenhouse space

Precision irrigation

  • Fully automated and precise weight-based water dosing and water-to-saturation options
  • Single nutrient limitation with gradient control

Imaging and measurement

  • Image up to 13-foot-tall plants
  • RGB cameras quantify traits over time, such as height, width, color and shape
  • Hyperspectral cameras reveal nutrient content, stress reaction, disease and insect infection
  • X-ray CT root scanner non-destructively records root growth and architecture over a long period of time - all in 3D

Data management

  • Web-based data delivery
  • Experiment and plant management
  • Conduit for connecting plant researchers and facilitating collaboration
  • Zegami plant phenomics software
  • Sort, select and analyze date visually
  • Generate and interrogate complex graphs on the fly

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