Contribute to future crops – learn to understand phenotyping

Last changed: 16 February 2024
Student takes a photo of plants in pots.

Phenotyping is important for modern plant breeding. With this technique, a large quantity of traits can be measured and new varieties can be developed faster. The plant breeding industry needs people with skills in measuring plants and correctly using modern phenotyping facilities. If you take the course Experimental approaches in plant growth analysis and phenotyping you can contribute to the development of future crops and sustainable land use.

Automated phenotyping enables one to quickly screen large amounts of traits that for example are relevant for plant growth and nutrient use efficiency. More and more automated phenotyping facilities are establishing, for example, in Denmark and Germany. These facilities create a need for experts with the skills to understand the techniques applied and the underlying plant growth theory.

"I can definitely say that your course will end up being the most directly useful course I have taken in my time at university." Student 2019

Unique course

This course is unique since it doesn´t only focus on the technical aspects, you´ll also learn to measure plant growth using classical growth analysis methods. After the course you will better understand the links between the processes controlling plant growth and yield to the techniques used for measuring plants in modern facilities for automated phenotyping.

A major fraction of the course is devoted to project work. For example in 2019, the students co-cultivated wheat and birch and followed the growth. As part of the examination, the students presented the project work in short videos.

The goal of plant breeding programs is often to develop varieties that perform high yields and are nutrient efficient. These plant characteristics are important for future sustainable land use.

Plant biology for sustainable production

The course is a part of the Master’s Program in  Plant Biology for Sustainable Production but is also offered as an independent course. The course should be attractive mainly for students in agricultural and forest sciences, especially those with an interest in molecular biology and plant breeding.

Upon completion of the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe the basic methods for measuring and assessing the growth of plants.
  • Independently implement simple methods for plant growth analysis.
  • Independently plan, implement and assess scientific experiments focusing on the growth of plants in relation to the surrounding environment (plant-environment and plant-plant interaction).
  • Describe the basic principles of growth modeling of plants.
  • Evaluate different quantitative methods for measuring structural and functional plant properties in modern phenotyping facilities.

Your course leader is Martin Weih, professor in plant ecology.


Experimental approaches in plant growth analysis and phenotyping

Course period: 2024-09-02 - 2024-10-31
Language: English
Location: Uppsala

Read more about the course


Martin Weih, Professor
Department of Crop Production Ecology, SLU 018-672543