High-throughput screening (HTS) modular system for the crop drought and salinity stress response modeling

The sensors system integrates the Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) and the gravimetric (Lysimetry) techniques to asses and to model with high-precision the crop drought and salinity stress response. It measures the volumetric water content, the soil bulk electrical conductivity, the real crop transpiration, and the growth rate at pot scale in a controlled or semi-controlled agro-environment (greenhouse). The higher spatial (representative volume sensing) and temporal (sub-hour) water-salinity status data acquisition at the substrate, crop and atmosphere levels allow performing combined water-salinity stress models. The fully automated and integrated precision irrigation units allow supplying precise water volume at the different salt concentrations for drought and/or salinity stress experiments/scenarios. The real-time overview of the implemented water-salinity stress scenarios, can be friendly and easily be analyzed via the AgrHySMo web interface. Furthermore, the expert system allows the monitoring and management of fertigation practices. In more specialized application fields, such as genetic improvement, the system allows calibrating the environmental limiting factors (salinity and water stress) for the study of the phenotype.