Technological and innovation objectives

Technological and innovation objectives

The specificity of 4PMI lies in studying plant-plant interactions in the rhizosphere, as well as interactions between plants and soil microorganisms. In line with our scientific objectives, we aim to develop and utilize innovative techniques for high-throughput plant morphometry, with a focus on roots. As such, we design, use, and even distribute innovative methods and devices for plant growth and phenotyping to academic and private partners.


In collaboration with a Burgundy-based industrial partner (Inoviaflow), we have developed RhizoTubes®—innovative plant growth containers that allow us to visualize the plant root system in an automated, in situ, dynamic, and non-destructive manner. Simultaneously, in collaboration with Inoviaflow and another industrial partner (Shakti), we have designed a high-resolution imaging chamber adapted to RhizoTubes® (RhizoCab® HR) with a resolution of 7 microns and medium throughput (phenotyping 100 rhizotrons per day). This prototype then led us to develop a second chamber (RhizoCab® HT) in which a large number of RhizoTubes® (1200) are automatically processed, providing high-resolution root system images at 42 microns.



These devices and throughput are, to our knowledge, unique in this field and enable the rapid characterization of morphometric (i.e., architectural) traits of a large number of plants from different species. The collaboration with Inoviaflow and Shakti involved experts from various domains, including mechanics, agronomy, physics, digital and vision technologies, and automation. This collaboration led to the industrialization of these innovations and their distribution on an international scale. Together, we have developed the best solutions in terms of scientific and technical quality, ergonomics, and sustainability.

The necessary funding for the development of RhizoTubes® and RhizoCab® was obtained through the PHENOME Future Investment Program.


Modification date : 21 July 2023 | Publication date : 19 August 2019 | Redactor : admin