Jessica Schmidt visited the Development Center X-Ray Technology EZRT of the Fraunhofer Institute IIS in Fürth (Germany) earlier this year with the aims of establishing an algorithm to predict non-destructive wheat yields from computed tomographic scans and to gain new insights into seed development and spike architecture under drought and heat stress. She pointed out that usually we have to thresh wheat heads which is destructive, time-intensive and also runs the risk of losing seeds as well as important data about spike architecture, seed position and seed shape.
Jessica performed X-ray computed tomography measurements using a portable CT (developed by the Development Center X-Ray Technology EZRT). “We were able to measure 4 spikes at a time with a resolution of 30 μm pixel-1. Each measurement took about 20 mins. After that I threshed and analysed yield and its components manually. Currently, they are establishing an algorithm and they will compare my parameters with the data from algorithm.”