Plant phenomics: history, present status and challenges

Ji Zhou, Francois Tardieu, Tony Pridmore, John Doonan, Daniel Reynolds, Neil Hall, Simon Griffiths, Tao Cheng, Yan Zhu, Xiu'e Wang, Dong Jiang, Yanfeng Ding

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With the development of remote sensing, robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence, plant phenomics research has been developing rapidly in recent years. Here, we first introduced a concise history of this research domain, including the theoretical foundation, research methods, biological applications, and the latest progress. Then, we introduced some important indoor and outdoor phenotyping approaches such as handheld devices, ground-based manual and automated vehicles, robotic systems, Internet of Things (IoT) based distributed platforms, automatic deep phenotyping systems, and large-scale aerial phenotyping, together with their advantages and disadvantages during the applications. In order to extract meaningful information from big image-and sensor-based datasets generated by the phenotyping, we also specified key phenotypic analysis methods and related development procedures. Finally, we discussed the future perspective of plant pheonmics, with recommendations of how to apply this research field to breeding, cultivation and agricultural practices in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-588
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nanjing Agricultural University
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jul 2018


  • phenomics
  • multi-scale phenotyping
  • remote sensing
  • imaging
  • robotics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • artificial intelligence
  • high-throughput traits analyses


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