Mapping experiments under controlled conditions

Dr Chris Brien, Dr Huwaida Rabie and Professor R. A. Bailey

PBRC Research HydrophohicsThe Plant Accelerator facility incorporates normal glasshouse rooms and Smartrooms, the latter having the capacity to automatically measure many phenomic characters. It is recognized that there are trends in these rooms and taking these into account in the design used for an experiment is being approached in several different ways. These include: a) no design but move the plants about arbitrarily during the experiment; b) use a design that incorporates blocking, usually of rows and columns; c) use a design that allows for spatial correlation in rows and columns. We plan to identify the most appropriate way to design such experiments and, hence, analyze the results from them. Similar considerations apply in the Smartrooms, except that arbitrary movement is not an option. The question here is what movement will be most efffective and we intend to explore this.

Some experiments are being conducted in the Plant Accelerator that are three-phase in that plants spend an initial phase in an ordinary glasshouse room during the intitial growth period. Then, in an imaging phase, they are transferred to a Smartroom for imaging during the main growth period. Finally, in the final phase, they are returned to an ordinary glasshouse room until they are harvested. Designing such experiments requires a separate design for each phase, but the design for one phase must take into account those for previous phases. Methods for producing such designs are to be developed.

Design and analysis of incubator and greenhouse experiments to evaluate native plant species

Dr Chris Brien, J. Boland, T. Tran, R. A. Bailey, H. Mancini and J. Gibb


Revegetation along rail corridor has been considered as a means of solving rail track stability issues and weed and fire risk problems. One of the challenges of restoring vegetation in the rail corridor has been to identify an optimal planting regime in structure, density and species composition in order to address specific site problems, create stable plant communities and conform to industry standards for safety and maintenance requirements. The design and analysis of experiments to study different species, soils and soil-preparation treatments in incubator and greenhouse experiments has been investigated. This has resulted in the development of split plot designs in which both main plots and sub-plots employ two-dimensional designs and in which sub-plot treatments are latinized. A new class of row-column designs, the quasi-Latin rectangle designs, were developed for assigning several factors to the main plots. Also, a comparison of analysis methods for count data from multistratum experiments has been conducted. The methods compared were analysis of variance, both untransformed and transformed, generalized linear models and generalized linear mixed models. Related publications Mancini, H., Tran, T. T., Gibbs, J., Brien, C. J. & Boland, J. (2006) Improving rail corridors by restoring native vegetation. In Ravitharan, R. (Ed.) Rail Achieving Growth: Proceedings of the Conference on Railway Engineering (CORE) 2006, Melbourne, 30 April - 3 May 2006. Melbourne, Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA). Tran, T. T. (2009) Design and Analysis of Experiments for Assessing Indigenous Plant Species. PhD thesis, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of South Australia

Publications

C.J. Brien, B. Berger, H. Rabie and M. Tester, (2013) Accounting for variation in designing greenhouse experiments with special reference to greenhouses containing plants on conveyor systems, Plant Methods 9 (5).

Mancini, H., Tran, T. T., Gibbs, J., Brien, C. J. & Boland, J. (2006) Improving rail corridors by restoring native vegetation. In Ravitharan, R. (Ed.) Rail Achieving Growth: Proceedings of the Conference on Railway Engineering (CORE) 2006, Melbourne, 30 April - 3 May 2006. Melbourne, Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA).

Tran, T. T. (2009) Design and Analysis of Experiments for Assessing Indigenous Plant Species. PhD thesis, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of South Australia.

Areas of study and research

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