Plant Sciences

Take your plant research to the next level!


The PlantS facility has two focal points:

1. With 22 state-of-the-art plant growth chambers, we can precisely control various environmental conditions of different climate zones and reproduce all kinds of abiotic stress conditions.

2. We offer automated plant phenotyping for high-throughput assessment of plant phenotypic traits. The image analysis software can also be used for custom analysis of external images.

In 2017, PlantS initiated the Austrian Plant Phenotyping Network (APPN).


High-throughput plant phenotyping

For objective, reproducible, and high-throughput assessment of plant phenotypic traits, we operate an automated, chamber integrated, non-destructive screening system linked to LemnaTec image analysis software. The phenotyping platform PHENOTron is designed for top-view RGB imaging of small plants like Arabidopsis thaliana and is fully integrated into one of our high-tech phytotrons.

We offer a complete phenotyping service: from seeds to data analysis. The image below demonstrates the complete plant phenotyping pipeline we provide.


Environmental simulation

Several phytotrons are capable of providing exceptional environmental conditions, allowing precise environmental simulation across different climate zones and various abiotic stress conditions.


Simulated Environments:

  • Cold stress (≥ -15°C) & heat stress (≤ +50°C)
  • Water stress (drought & partial waterlogging)
  • Variable light intensity & spectrum (LED-light: blue_405nm, blue_450nm, warm_white & red_660_730nm) incl. spectral simulation of sunrise and sunset
  • CO2 level regulation

Custom Phenotyping and HT Image Analysis

The facility offers phenotyping of various plant organs and growth stages, adapted to the needs of the customers:

  • PHENOBox: Side-view phenotyping of plants.

  • PHENOScan: Agar-plate based screening of Arabidopsis roots.

  • HT Image Analysis: High-throughput 2D RGB image analysis service by LemnaTec OS software.


Walk-in phytotrons

With 22 high-quality, state-of-the-art and highly specialized plant growth chambers, PlantS can precisely control environmental conditions, reproducing abiotic plant stress conditions such as frost, drought and various spectral light and CO2 gas conditions. Furthermore, we can accurately simulate various global environmental conditions from a range of different climate zones.

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The phenotyping platform PHENOTron

The phenotyping platform (PHENOTron) is designed for top-view RGB imaging of small plants like Arabidopsis thaliana and is fully integrated into one of our high-tech phytotrons.

This particular phytotron facilitates frost stress experiments (> -15°C) and is equipped with a high-tech LED light with adjustable light spectrum.

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Angelika Czedik-Eysenberg et al., New Phytologist 2018

A system for phenotyping of individual tall plants, e.g. model grass Brachypodium distachyon or maize. Coupled with PhenoPipe module for calculation of multi-dimensional distances from phenotyping data, we provide an affordable, automated, open source imaging and data processing solution that can be adapted to various phenotyping applications in plant biology and beyond.

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Agar-plate based screening of Arabidopis roots

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 Multi-Sensor, High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping Platform. Coming in 2021.

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In case of any questions on our services/equipment and for project requests please contact the Facility Head Jakub Jez.

Project requests:

For detailed information on our services and specific project requests please contact Jakub Jez.


Training & general plant rules:

All new facility users must attend a training session on general plant rules. Please contact Mrs. Anneliese Auer. The General Plant Rules can be found in MyVBCF for download.


Need immediate assistance?

In case of technical problems, pest infestations, or other urgent issues please always write to: plants(at) The pest management guidelines can be found in MyVBCF for download.


Booking system

The continuation of funding for VBCF by the City of Vienna and Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research is dependent on documented evidence of contributions to scientific output. Therefore, it is mandatory to acknowledge use of the facility when publishing work for which VBCF services were used.

A simple statement is sufficient and can either be placed in the Materials and Methods section or in the Acknowledgements.


Suggested format:

The XXXXXX was performed by the Plant Sciences Facility at Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF), member of the Vienna BioCenter (VBC), Austria. 


In case of (co-)authorship:

The Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF) Plant Sciences Facility acknowledges funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the City of Vienna. (Your publication will then be listed on our website.)


Autophagy mediates temporary reprogramming and dedifferentiation in plant somatic cells
Rodriguez E, Chevalier J, Olsen  J, Ansbøl  J, Kapousidou  V, Zuo  Z, Svenning  S, Loefke  C, Koemeda  S, Serrano Drozdowskyj  P, Jez  J, Durnberger  G, Kuenzl  F, Schutzbier  M, Mechtler  K, Nagel Ebstrup  E, Lolle  S, Dagdas  Y, Petersen M. EMBO J (2020).

The'PhenoBox', a flexible, automated, open-source plant phenotyping solution
Czedik-Eysenberg A, Seitner S, Güldener U, Koemeda S, Jez J, Colombini M, Djamei A. The New Phytologist, 2018.