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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Global Change and Photosynthesis Research » Research » Research Project #444454

Research Project: Developing High Throughput Phenotyping Tools for Climate Smart Sweet Potato

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research

Project Number: 5012-21000-032-013-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 15, 2023
End Date: Aug 14, 2025

Develop phenotyping tools that can be used to improve selection of sweet potato cultivars for increased yields and response to climate change. We aim to identify clear remotely sensed metrics that can be broadly used in sweet potato breeding programs. We also will test the hypothesis that for crops like sweet potato that grow close to the ground surface, the combination of aerial and ground-based phenotyping will provide accurate data for assessing crop health.

Experiments will be designed to broadly test aerial and ground-based high throughput phenotyping systems on sweet potato plots, grown at the Soybean Free Air Concentration (SoyFACE) experimental facility. Over two growing seasons (2024 and 2025), we will test the accuracy of rovers and drones for estimating key physiological and growth parameters, including nitrogen content, leaf area index, and plant height and growth. We hypothesize that by combining ground and aerial phenotyping, we will have more accurate estimates of plant physiological and agronomic traits.