What Is Phenomics?
Plant phenomics is a science that has the ability to change our lives with an ever changing environmental needs. Phenomics is an area of biology concerned with the measurement of phenomes — the physical and biochemical traits of organisms — as they change in response to genetic mutation and environmental influences. It is used in functional genomics, pharmaceutical research, metabolic engineering and increasingly in phylogenetics.
An important field of research today is trying to improve, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the capacity to measure phenomes. This includes developing high-throughput measurement systems of plants.
The aim of the NPPC is to facilitate a step-change in plant phenotype measurement so that comprehensive phenomic information can be recorded from large numbers of plants in months rather than years. Thus it will place Phenomics on a similar high throughput basis to genomics and metabolomics. It enables the screening of large numbers of plants, such as mapping, breeding and mutant populations and germplasm collections for features of plant growth and function. It allows the application of experimental treatments such as water and nutrient stresses, and provide a comprehensive assessment of the responses of individual genotypes. This addresses the phenotyping bottleneck that currently exists and combined with modern genomic tools will provide a radical approach for gene discovery and crop improvement. It raises the profile of high-quality multidisciplinary science at Aberystwyth and develop collaborations with international scientists having interests in genetics and functional genomics, ecology, genecology, crop improvement, climate change mitigation and adaptation and global agriculture in an environmental context.
The NPPC facility is situated at IBERS Gogerddan which is just outside Aberystwyth in a rural setting. The building was awarded BREEAM excellent standard in 2011. Which feature a green roof, grey water system, Biomass boilers supplying a large proportion of heating demands, high specification building envelope, natural ventilation with automated louvres and daylight dimming lights helping to reduce the environmental impact. We have 619 square meters of glasshouse space.