In this second episode of our series of CAPTE videos, Alexis from Hiphen asks Professor Frédéric Baret from INRA EMMAH about high-throughput plant phenotyping and its importance for the agriculture ecosystem.

Plant Phenotyping is the science of characterization

Professor Baret defines plant phenotyping as the science of the characterization of the crops which is particularly important for decision support in agriculture and for plant breeders when selecting the best genotypes that will become the future cultivars well-adapted to different environments. As such, plant phenotyping helps to better understand the functioning of the crops, and this type of informations is often used to calibrate crop models.

A modern and evolutive science

In the past, the classical method used for phenotyping was labour intensive as it required an army of experts in the field to score plant samples, record plant characteristics manually (e.g. plant height) and often to retrieve (and thus destruct) plant samples in order to run tests in labs. This approach was therefore limited by its throughput which impacted data accuracy and it limited the number of traits for the characteristics that we extract from the plants.
Nowadays, non-destructive high-throughput methods are used to characterize the plants allowing us to record in a couple of hours what used to take field experts months to collect. Data acquisition technology using UAV (drone), satellite, phenomobilehandheld devices and AI-based algorithms now allow experts to spend more time analysing the results and efficiently making decisions instead of spending most of their time on the ground manually measuring plants.

Plant phenotyping is accessible and almost limitless

High-throughput plant phenotyping can be achieved at a very large scale indeed. Most of our clients tend to scan on a single date multiple fields and trials from different locations globally, sending us the data remotely the next day and getting traits and results back in a matter of hours or days. In that sense, plant phenotyping is revolutionary and we believe that any actors in the agriculture sector can benefit from it as a wide range of data acquisition equipment and methods exist at Hiphen to adapt to your needs, budget, crops and required traits.

If you would like to hear more about it or should you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via email at or by phone at +33784143163. Lastly, feel free to visit our scientific papers archive should you seek more details about the methods and techniques we develop at CAPTE.