The immediate goal of the project is to use advanced sensing coupled with machine-learning techniques and biophysical modeling for high throughput phenotyping, with the longer-term goal of actually connecting the phenotypes to specific genes.
The project is a partnership led by researchers in Purdue’s Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and The University of Queensland. It is funded with a three-year, $6.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for projects focused on accelerating energy crop development for the production of renewable transportation fuels.
Mitch Tuinstra, professor of plant breeding and genetics in the Department of Agronomy and the Wickersham Chair of Excellence Agricultural Research, is the principal investigator of the TERRA project. Melba Crawford, professor of agronomy, civil and electrical and computer engineering, and the Chair of Excellence in Earth Observation, is the project lead for Engineering.