Opening of Finotech 2 – University of Angers

Opening of Finotech 2 – University of Angers

Very connected greenhouse and culture rooms… The new equipment of the highly productive phenotyping platform was inaugurated on the Végétal campus on May 4, 2023. An investment of 6 million euros funded by the State, the Region and the City of Angers Loire makes phenotyping material presented at the European level.


Jean-Marc Fischer, President of Angers Loire Métropole, cuts the ribbon together with Pierre-Yves Manach, Regional Academic Delegate for Research and Innovation, Patricia Maussion, Regional Adviser, Alessia Lefébure, Director of the Agro Rennes Angers Institute, Carol Karanta, Deputy Director for General Science and Innovation INRAE ​​and Christian Roblédo, PresidentAU.
established in 2009, virtual is a hardware and imaging platform dedicated to the phenotyping, i.e., characterization of all observable features of a plant, from seed to adulthood. Images produced in large numbers provide data that can then be compared with a genome study (genotyping): such a plant with such a gene would have larger leaves, for example, be more resistant to such a type of disease…

The platform draws on scientific expertise in plant biology and pathology and in information and communication sciences and technologies from the University of Angers,Agriculture Institute And the’INRAEand the three parent institutions Angevin IRHS Research Laboratory. “Venotec was launched on this science that there is a whole wealth that can be exploited thanks to the multidisciplinarity, by combining botany with digital technology,” stated Cristian Roblédo, PresidentAUGreetings to Philippe Simoneau and Jean-Pierre Renaud, artisans of this creation.

The platform is now experiencing a strengthening of its capabilities, thanks to the acquisition of new equipment funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Angers Loire Métropole, INRAE ​​and the Pays de la Loire region under the Plan Contract State Region 2015- 2020. A total investment of 6 million Euros for Phenotic 2 “It is part of a strategy to increase our plants’ production and phenotypes in controlled environments, Explain Mary Agnes JackbossIRHS. We will focus on disease control in the context of reduced inputs. Robotics will allow us to obtain high-throughput phenotypic data, and subsequently develop plant disease phenotypes.”

1000 m greenhouse2

The new greenhouse is computer controlled.
The new greenhouse is computer controlled.
Two major operations were funded. A new generation of greenhouses with an area of ​​1000 square meters2which was developed with domestic manufacturers, got out of the ground. “It’s a highly digitized greenhouse, Remy Jardet, Vice President of Phénotic, sums it up. Thanks to the computers, we can adjust the conditions in each of the two cabins.”

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A few dozen meters away, in a confined greenhouse intended for the study of pathogens, two culture chambers are equipped with robots specially designed for the platform. “In the two rooms we can control the temperature, the humidity, and the brightness, with the ability to change the spectra of the light,” she says. explains Tristan Borough, scientific director of Phenomenon.

Robots are equipped with cameras.
Robots are equipped with cameras.
In the first, the robot is able to mark each pot, for scientific observation, weigh it, and water it. It is also equipped with different cameras. “Thus we will be able to visualize the progression of the disease, identifying the affected surface at a particular moment,” The researcher teacher continues inAU. In the second room, the robot is equipped with a more sophisticated imaging system. “He is able to walk around the pot to get a full view of the plant. Thus, we will better depict the effect of different stresses,” she says. Like diseases, so is water shortage, another current issue.

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