Project deliverable Open Access

EMPHASIS-PREP Deliverable 2.5: Report on current and future user demands

Janni, Michela; Moscatelli, Silvana; Loreto, Francesco

Executive Summary


Objectives: The improvement of crop performance to address the challenges imposed by climate change and in
view of a continuous increases of the world population (and its needs for wellbeing and healthy diet),
is a major goal to establish a sustainable agriculture.
In this scenario phenotyping is at the forefront of future plant breeding and selection, and the plant
phenotyping community must confront with the need to accurately measure diverse traits of an
increasingly large number of plants (and genotypes or ecotypes) to successfully address novel
challenges beside a sheer rise of plant productivity, such as increasing plants adaptability to resourcelimiting
environments and resilience to stress, and successful implementation of low-input agriculture
with selected and appropriate plants.


Technological advancement is the basis to foster the development of phenotyping centres, while data
standardization, acquisition and reusability must be considered as major objectives. Thus, future
trends in the development of plant phenotyping need the integration of different experts and
disciplines (spanning biological sciences, computer science, mathematics and engineering) with a
multidisciplinary view trying to identify a common language, and pipelines to endure a fruitful
collaboration between technology developers, providers of infrastructures and increasingly different
categories of users.


This deliverable gives a snapshot on current EMPHASIS activities, users and stakeholders, and maps
existing and future demands of plant phenotyping in order to meet the user expectations towards
plant phenotyping infrastructures in a long-term view, facilitating science- and technology-based
strategy developments and policies.


Rationale: Exploring the user and stakeholder demands is a continues and evolving process that is fundamental
for the long-term sustainability of EMPHASIS as a distributed infrastructure.
The user demands presented in this deliverable is the result of data acquisition implemented by
EMPHASIS-Prep through two surveys launched in 2017 and 2018 to explore the phenotyping community
as a whole.
The data of the surveys were combined with bibliographic sources, by means of a bibliographic
analysis to measure the phenotyping scientific production, research and trends, and that was taken
into account to draw the current and future user demands.
The future demand for plant phenotyping also considered the burning necessity to efficiently
integrate the different communities involved in plant phenotyping, here defined as plant phenotyping
integration process.

Main results: To define the current and future user demands, we identified the EMPHASIS users, and mapped the
demand accordingly to the following categorization:

  • Demand for phenotyping in general;
  • Demand for access to infrastructures and data;
  • Demand for innovation;
  • Demand for training;
  • Demand for modelling.

From this analysis it emerges: 1) an increasing demand for training, especially keyed at training
for imaging and bioinformatics; 2) an increased demand for access the phenotyping
infrastructures 3) the need of a even wider and more integrated community to address
phenotyping challenges and foster complementation across different disciplines.

 

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