e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture

A bibliometric study

The e-ROSA project seeks to build a shared vision of a future sustainable e-infrastructure for research and education in agriculture in order to promote Open Science in this field and as such contribute to addressing related societal challenges. In order to achieve this goal, e-ROSA’s first objective is to bring together the relevant scientific communities and stakeholders and engage them in the process of coelaboration of an ambitious, practical roadmap that provides the basis for the design and implementation of such an e-infrastructure in the years to come.

This website highlights the results of a bibliometric analysis conducted at a global scale in order to identify key scientists and associated research performing organisations (e.g. public research institutes, universities, Research & Development departments of private companies) that work in the field of agricultural data sources and services. If you have any comment or feedback on the bibliometric study, please use the online form.

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Rhizoslides: paper-based growth system for non-destructive, high throughput phenotyping of root development by means of image analysis


Background: A quantitative characterization of root system architecture is currently being attempted for various reasons. Non-destructive, rapid analyses of root system architecture are difficult to perform due to the hidden nature of the root. Hence, improved methods to measure root architecture are necessary to support knowledge-based plant breeding and to analyse root growth responses to environmental changes. Here, we report on the development of a novel method to reveal growth and architecture of maize root systems. Results: The method is based on the cultivation of different root types within several layers of two-dimensional, large (50 x 60 cm) plates (rhizoslides). A central plexiglass screen stabilizes the system and is covered on both sides with germination paper providing water and nutrients for the developing root, followed by a transparent cover foil to prevent the roots from falling dry and to stabilize the system. The embryonic roots grow hidden between a Plexiglas surface and paper, whereas crown roots grow visible between paper and the transparent cover. Long cultivation with good image quality up to 20 days (four fully developed leaves) was enhanced by suppressing fungi with a fungicide. Based on hyperspectral microscopy imaging, the quality of different germination papers was tested and three provided sufficient contrast to distinguish between roots and background (segmentation). Illumination, image acquisition and segmentation were optimised to facilitate efficient root image analysis. Several software packages were evaluated with regard to their precision and the time investment needed to measure root system architecture. The software 'Smart Root' allowed precise evaluation of root development but needed substantial user interference. 'GiaRoots' provided the best segmentation method for batch processing in combination with a good analysis of global root characteristics but overestimated root length due to thinning artefacts. 'WhinRhizo' offered the most rapid and precise evaluation of root lengths in diameter classes, but had weaknesses with respect to image segmentation and analysis of root system architecture. Conclusion: A new technique has been established for non-destructive root growth studies and quantification of architectural traits beyond seedlings stages. However, automation of the scanning process and appropriate software remains the bottleneck for high throughput analysis.

  • CH
  • ETH_Zurich_Swiss_Fed_Inst_Technol_Zurich (CH)
Data keywords
  • knowledge
  • knowledge based
Agriculture keywords
  • agriculture
Data topic
  • information systems
Document type

Inappropriate format for Document type, expected simple value but got array, please use list format

Institutions 10 co-publis
  • ETH_Zurich_Swiss_Fed_Inst_Technol_Zurich (CH)
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e-ROSA - e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730988.
Disclaimer: The sole responsibility of the material published in this website lies with the authors. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.