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Award Abstract #1238246

A Miniaturized Automated Sensor for Phenotyping Bud Break in Natural Plant Populations

Division Of Integrative Organismal Sys
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Initial Amendment Date: November 1, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: June 17, 2015
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Award Number: 1238246
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: C. Eduardo Vallejos
IOS Division Of Integrative Organismal Sys
BIO Direct For Biological Sciences
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Start Date: November 1, 2012
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End Date: February 28, 2017 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $431,306.00
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Investigator(s): Heather Lintz hlintz@coas.oregonstate.edu (Principal Investigator)
Anton Kruger (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-8507 (541)737-4933
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Program Reference Code(s): 1329, 7577, 9109, 9150, 9178, 9179, BIOT
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Program Element Code(s): 7577, 1329


PI: Heather E. Lintz (Oregon State University)

Co-PI: Anton Kruger (University of Iowa)

One major scientific challenge is to understand the genomic basis of plant adaptation in the context of climate change. Climate change threatens the sustainability of forestry and agriculture, which support human life globally. An understanding of the genomic basis of adaptation would allow better modeling and prediction of the fate of plant species and improve forest and crop management in a rapidly changing environment. While the capability to collect genomic data is advancing at a rapid pace, high-throughput phenotyping in natural populations remains a challenge even in model plant species. Given that natural selection operates in environments more complex than growth chambers, phenotypes in natural populations are needed to fully understand and verify adaptive genomic signatures. Phenotype-genotype studies conducted in growth chambers and common gardens assume that loci and genetic pathways identified as 'adaptive' are actually adaptive in nature. This assumption may not hold due to the genomic complexity and environmental dependency and complexity behind many quantitative traits. One objective of this project is to provide a new tool for the standardized measurement of an adaptive biological phenotype in natural plant populations. This project will enhance and test a small automated sensor of plant bud break. The sensor will be designed to precisely detect vegetative and reproductive bud break at the scale of a plant bud while measuring key environmental drivers such as temperature. Another objective is to test a predictive model of vegetative bud break for three tree species in the field using data collected with the sensor.

The automated bud break sensor will facilitate high-throughput phenotyping of natural populations and will be useful in other species and other traits such as flowering. This project will provide an interdisciplinary research experience for undergraduate and graduate students in electrical engineering and ecological genomics. Data collected from the sensors will be made public through databases such as Phytozome, PopGenIE, and the National Phenology Network. Training in the use of the sensor will be provided to the research community through workshops at major research conferences. The sensors produced by this project will become part of an upper division class at Oregon State University as part of an integrated science curriculum.


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Li, G., Kruger, A., Niemeier, J.J., Lintz, H.E.. "Automated sensor for flowering and vegetative budburst," Sensors Applications Symposium, IEEE, 2013, p. 152-155. 


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