*This session is not available on demand by request of speaker* Accessibility of high-throughput sequencing technologies has transformed the plant genomics research landscape. Significant bottlenecks, however, still remain in translating the voluminous genomic information into an understanding of growth and response mechanisms across the scales of biological complexity. The slower throughput in manual, serial-mode, plant transformation and phenotyping approaches is mismatched in pace needed to address the high rates of candidate gene discovery and empirical iterations associated with optimizing gene-editing technologies. One solution to addressing the challenge in throughput lies in leveraging the power of robotics and automation. Here we present our research towards building an automated plant genetic transformation system. We show the feasibility of developing machine vision capability and robotics-aided precision selection and transfer of plant material. In the context of functional characterization, we show results using automated plant phenotyping platform to contrast natural plant biomass trait variants. Increase in the throughput of plant transformant production by two orders of magnitude and integration with downstream automated phenotype screening technology can significantly accelerate pace of synthetic biology studies for rational design of plant pathways.
Coauthors: Harold Walters – Oak Ridge National Laboratory;Samuel Leach – Oak Ridge National Laboratory;Xiaohan Yang – Oak Ridge National Laboratory;Gerald Tuskan – Oak Ridge National Laboratory;Vincent Paquit – Oak Ridge National Laboratory;Andrzej Nycz – Oak Ridge National Laboratory