Good Fruit Grower

November 2015

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Page 19 of 55

20 NOVEMBER 2015 GOOD FRUIT GROWER R esearchers have made strides in the study of fruit genomics in recent years, but less ground has been gained in the fi eld of phenomics, the measurement of plant and fruit traits. Genotyping and phenotyping go hand in hand; one must know if a specifi c fruit trait is present, and in what form, in order to tie the trait to a specifi c gene. Conventional phenotyping is done visually, such as by recognizing disease symptoms and severity or fruit color ratings, or by using other standard, labor-intensive techniques pertinent to the trait of interest. They could include caliper measurements for fruit size or destructive chemical methods to determine a fruit's chemical composition. New, non-contact, rapid-sensing techniques, including miniature portable mul- tispectral and thermal infrared cameras, are emerging for high-throughput field phenotyping. Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran is working with a team of researchers to apply these tech- niques in research projects of grapes and apples in Washington State. A Washington State University biological systems engineer, Sankaran is focusing on the development Phenotyping in the fi eld GOES HIGH-TECH WSU researcher is using thermal infrared cameras and other sensor technologies to study fruit traits. by Shannon Dininny "These sensing techniques have a great potential, and with proper validation studies, such technology can help growers in making real-time decisions for managing their vineyards or orchards." —Sindhuja Sankaran New Technology

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