Innovation Campus greenhouse puts plants through the paces

Agronomy and horticulture professor Daniel Schachtman gives a tour of the greenhouse and newly installed LemnaTec plant phenotyping system Monday at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

A single stalk of sorghum -- planted in a two-gallon bucket -- was the star of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Fascination of Plants Day, an event showcasing how the leafy lifeforms are integral to life.

Winding its way down a conveyor belt and through several chambers with doors automatically opening with a hydraulic hiss, the plant was the focal point of a sneak preview of greenhouses going up on Nebraska Innovation Campus.

Expected to be fully functional in June, the Greenhouse Innovation Center’s multimillion dollar phenotyping system is capable of moving individual corn, soybean and other plants through four chambers with specialized cameras designed to track physical characteristics invisible to the naked eye.