SPICY: towards automated phenotyping of large pepper plants in the greenhouse

G.W.A.M. van der Heijden, Y. Song, G. Horgan, G. Polder, J.A. Dieleman, M.C.A.M. Bink, A. Palloix, F.A. van Eeuwijk, C. Glasbey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Most high-throughput systems for automated plant phenotyping involve a fixed recording cabinet to which plants are transported. However, important greenhouse plants like pepper are too tall to be transported. In this research we developed a system to automatically measure plant characteristics of tall pepper plants in the greenhouse. With a device equipped with multiple cameras, images of plants are recorded at a 5 cm interval over a height of 3 m. Two types of features are extracted: (1) features from a 3D reconstruction of the plant canopy; and (2) statistical features derived directly from RGB images. The experiment comprised 151 genotypes of a recombinant inbred population of pepper, to examine the heritability and quantitative trait loci (QTL) of the features. Features extracted from the 3D reconstruction of the canopy were leaf size and leaf angle, with heritabilities of 0.70 and 0.56 respectively. Three QTL were found for leaf size, and one for leaf angle. From the statistical features, plant height showed a good correlation (0.93) with manual measurements, and QTL were in accordance with QTL of manual measurements. For total leaf area, the heritability was 0.55, and two of the three QTL found by manual measurement were found by image analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-877
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • complex traits
  • platform
  • cereals
  • qtl


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