PhenoArch is a phenotyping platform dedicated to the analysis of genetic determinisms of plant response (growth, transpiration, development) to environmental conditions, in particular drought, temperature and light.

PhenoArch is the most recent platform within M3P. It is mainly dedicated to the study of genetic variability but can also be used to analyse large collections of transgenic plants.
Installed in a 350 m² greenhouse, it is based on a conveyor belt that transports 1700 potted plants between irrigation areas and an imaging chamber. It allows multi-trait association studies to be carried out under contrasting soil water conditions and climate scenarios. The characteristics measured are biomass (via biovolumes), transpiration and architecture. The images collected and the monitoring of pot weights allow growth and transpiration to be estimated and water use efficiency to be assessed. Analysis pipelines are used to estimate the incident radiation and the radiation intercepted by each plant and to deduce the radiation use efficiency.
PhenoArch is covered with environmental sensors to estimate the conditions perceived by the plants at each moment. The throughput of PhenoArch allows it to be used for association genetics analysis as well as for genomic selection.
We are also developing algorithms to infer radiation use efficiency and water use efficiency. The platform is best suited for diversity studies and quantitative genetics. Over the last 4 years it has been successfully used with maize, wheat, grapevine, apple and cotton.
Its main features are :

  •     A throughput of 1680 plants, the size of a panel for genetic association studies,
  •     Monitoring and measurement of environmental conditions experienced by the plant with a time resolution of one minute,
  •     Precise measurements of plant architecture, leaf area, organ size, plant volume (biomass). These measurements at a daily time step are coupled with measurements of growth and transpiration at a time step of one minute.
  •     An interface with models to analyse the complexity of the data sets, and to extract genotypic parameters that can then be used to predict the behaviour of the plants studied in different climate scenarios.

Example of an experiment carried out on PhenoArch :

In this folder

Studying the association between genetic polymorphisms and phenotypic traits is a major challenge in genomic studies.
Its main features are a throughput of 1680 plants, accurate monitoring and measurement of environmental conditions, accurate measurements of phenotypic traits (plant architecture, leaf area, organ size, plant volume/biomass and transpiration rate) and an interface with modelling.
Phenoarch is equipped with a high-speed conveyor, an irrigation station, an environmental characterisation module, an imaging module and a low-speed growth and transpiration monitoring module.

17 July 2023


A multidisciplinary team is dedicated to the platform. It assists users in setting up, conducting experiments (carried out by platform staff or external parties) and carrying out methodological developments.

Modification date: 17 July 2023 | Publication date: 18 June 2020 | By: Aurélien Ausset