Quality and Efficiency Improvements of Micropropagation Through Automated Grading
Small Business Information
704 NE 6th Street, Gainesville, FL, 32601
Dr. Roy C. Harrell
AbstractThe U.S. micropropagation industry is a $24 million business supplying starter plant material to greenhouses around the world. However, in order to compete with the increasing numbr of offshore laboratories, U.S. micropropagators must produce higher quality plants more efficiently. The goal of this project is to develop automatic grading technology that will reduce production costs, improve quality, and provide a key component for expansion into the $792 million market for agricultural and forestry starter plants. Specifically, machine vision and mass based measurements of unrooted microcuttings, the primary product from a tissue culture laboratory, will be used to grade microcuttings into groups which will mature more predictably and uniformly in the greenhouse. Phase I will concentrate on two issues critical to the success of automated grading. First, the capability to automatically predict grow out responses of stage 2, unrooted microcuttings will be developed, and second, the economic feasibility of this technology will be established. Phase II will build upon the results of Phase I by developing a grading system for testing and evaluation in a commercial, production environment. A consortium of micropropagation laboratories will be established to fund Phase III which will complete the commercialization of this technology.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.