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Phenotyping Technologies in Plant-Environment Interactions

  • Photo: 
    Håkon Sparre

NOVA PhD course series scheduled for 2018-2021. Each course in the series is of 5 ECTS.
Responsible for course series: Kristiina Himanen, Docent, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. 


Course Description
The changing climate demands developing faster breeding methods to provide effective solutions for the future agriculture. This course series aims to introduce the emerging research fields of high throughput plant phenotyping used for plant-environment interactions from highly controlled environments to field conditions, in combination with omics technologies including bioinformatics and R-computing.

The course series aims to introduce the emerging technologies related to i) controlled environments that allow simulations and testing future climatic conditions, ii) automated and image based plant phenotyping technologies that are to remove bottlenecks in between genotype to phenotype screens, iii) high throughput field phenotyping technologies and iv) transcriptomics with bioinformatics and R-computing that are required for the deeper understanding of the molecular networks. The objective of the course series is to provide the participating students with the basic knowledge and understanding of the emerging fields of plant phenomics and data processing that can serve breeding efforts in modern agriculture.

Programme Outline
Lecture topics:

  1. Greenhouse environmental control and crop physiology in greenhouse conditions
  2. Non-invasive phenotyping technologies (sensors and data processing)
  3. Phenotyping plant physiology (abiotic and biotic stresses, photosynthesis)
  4. Transcriptomics technologies and R-computing of time course data

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Pre; literature studies on the course topics. Post; learning diaries based on lectures, drafting a research plan

Learning Outcomes
Participation in lectures and daily learning diaries (2 ECTS)

  • knowledge about the crop physiology in greenhouse context and management methods
  • knowledge about the whole range of analysis sensors available for plant phenotyping
  • gaining understanding of the opportunities and challenges in experimental design in plant phenotyping

Participation in the workshops (1 ECTS)

  • gaining hands on experience in plant-environment treatments, image based data acquisition, and molecular omics technologies, and data processing

Literature study, presentation and a research plan as pre and post assignments (2 ECTS)

  • gaining deeper understanding of the chosen biological process and chosen technology through own study
  • application of gained knowledge in the research plan

Evaluation Elements
Active participation in assignments and workshops, presentation, submission of learning diaries and post-assignments (research plan).

Pedagogical Approach
Student activation by introductory pre-course assignments, in depth scientific lectures, hands-on experience during work shops and post-course assignments that allow application of the gained knowledge.

Prerequisite Knowledge
MSc degree in a relevant field is required. Relevant fields: agriculture, biological and environmental sciences.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course.

*Please note that the organising of the course scheduled for 2021 will be dependent on the student evaluations of previous courses within the series, as well as the yearly NOVA course budget.
Detailed information on each course in the series and information on how to apply will be available on each course's information web page. The information web page will be published on the NOVA website in the beginning of the year when the course is sheduled to run. Please see NOVA's course catalogue.

Published 1. August 2017 - 16:06 - Updated 16. October 2019 - 13:25