Comparative Evaluation

Many times the question arises as to which variety, treatment, nutrient regimen, etc. produces the desired effects on the plant root system. Phenotype Screening Corporation's Comparative Evaluation service can provide the answer in a quick and effective manner. Our artificial growth substrate and our uniform, controlled Root Lab conditions provide the perfect environment for that difference to manifest itself without random weather, weed, pest, and soil condition effects.

Our evaluations may be used as a pre-screening step to generate a set of very high quality, very detailed data using a small number of plants. Because of the nondestructive nature of our imaging technology, the same individual plants can be followed over the time of the experiment.

If desired, above surface traits such as vegetative state and plant height can be recorded. Other traits may be measured, if desired.

We describe below some of the applications we have performed using this technology. Along with a description of the application, we provide example pricing for a typical project. Please Contact us for a quotation for your project.

Variety Testing

You may see differences in variety performance that cannot be understood or explained through field trials or from an examination of excavated root systems. We can grow the varieties in our Root Lab and show you the trajectory of root system development through the entire plant growth cycle. If there is a morphological difference in varieties, we will show it to you.

Back to Top


The ultimate purpose of any treatment is to improve the input cost vs yield proposition. In order to properly market and apply a treatment a certain level of understanding of how the treatment works is necessary. We can assist in the early phenomenology stage of evaluation by comparing treated vs untreated plant development in our artificial substrate controlled environment. Besides root system development over time, we can measure above surface properties over time and at end of experiment. This can give insight as to the underlying mechanism of treatment effects.

The below animated bar chart shows growth of Maize roots for treated and untreated plants. Each bar represents a root size class; note that size classes overlap as shown in the key on right.

total root length animation, treated vs untreated root size class key
Animation of Total Root Length Signatures by Date (left) Root Diameter Ranges (right))

Back to Top

Drought Stress

drought stress soybean

Because the application of nutrient solution to plants grown in our artificial substrate is controlled by programmable timers, the quantity of moisture available to the plant root system is totally determined by experimental design. Because of the rapid draining of our growth substrate, moisture conditions at the root can be changed more rapidly than would be possible in a nomal soil.

Back to Top

Nutrient Stress

iron deficiency chlorosis

The evaluation of plants under nutrient stress is easy to do with our custom mixed nutrient solution and totally inert artificial growth substrate. You specify the nutrient solution makeup and we apply it to the plants. With our nondestructive imaging of the plant root system, measurement of vegetative state, and end of experiment biomass, we can determine the effects of nurient stress on plant development.

Back to Top

Example Pricing

A minimal comparative analysis experiment is four sets of eight plants. This can be four comparisons for a genetic evaluation or one control and three treatments, one set for each case. Our current grow room capacity is 20 sets of eight plants in one meter deep containers.

Example pricing for four lines, or four conditions, eight plants each, is shown below. Three levels of experimental effort and analysis work are priced. These prices are for corn, soybean, or cotton in one meter deep containers. Other plants, container sizes, and experimental procedures are available.

Please Contact us to discuss your experimental goals. We will then design an experiment and provide you with a firm quotation.

Comparative Evaluation Pricing
Back to Top