Seed Central's Innovator Showcase

Amphasys at Seed Central’s Innovator Showcase

Because Pollen Quality Matters!

Seed Central’s Innovator Showcase is a joint event by Seed Central, UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food & Health, UC Davis Microbiome Special Research Program and UC Davis Venture Capitalyst.

The event offers a platform to innovative companies and startup’s working in the seed, agricultural, agbiotech, microbiome and food/health sector.

Amphasys was invited to participate in this online event with a short and concise 3 minute pitch and a more detailed ‘online company visit’.

3 Minute Pitch

Watch the recording of our 3-minute pitch and learn:

  1. why pollen quality matters
  2. how data-driven pollen quality monitoring can look like

Online Company Visit

In the recording of our online company visit we talk about:

  1. Who we are and how we analyze pollen
  2. Areas in plant breeding and seed production where our technology is used
  3. Practical application examples 
a picture of hazelnut catkins shedding pollenins

New Study on Hazelnut Pollen Phenotyping Using the Pollen Analyzer

Plant Phenotyping - The Science of Crop Characterization

Modern plant phenotyping is a rapidly emerging research area concerned with the quantitative measurement of the structural and functional properties of plants. It provides essential information to plant breeders and crop management when selecting the best genotypes that will become future cultivars well-adapted to different environments [1].

Non-destructive high-throughput methods have replaced tedious classical assays, now generating large amount of multiparametric data in a very short time. One example used for pollen phenotyping is our Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer, capable of analyzing thousands of pollen grains in just a few seconds.

Impedance Flow Cytometry Reveals Large Differences in Hazelnut Pollen Sterility

In a recent study, the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer was used to systematically investigate two important aspects of hazelnut biology: Pollen viability and pollen sterility. Those parameters were assessed in 33 cultivars used for hazelnut production and compared to wild genotypes. The measurements allowed the researchers to reliably classify pollen grains into viable, dead and sterile in a high throughput. Interestingly, both the pollen viability and the degree of sterility were strongly cultivar-specific, and both parameters varied over a surprisingly wide range. Importantly, only a small amount of dead pollen was observed. This suggests that pollen sterility is a key determinant of pollen quality in hazelnut, and therefore deserves particular attention when selecting suitable pollinators.

Congratulations to Lorenzo Ascari and his team for this impressive work and for demonstrating the power and potential of Impedance Flow Cytometry in plant science.

If you are interested in reading the full article, please click on the button below.


New Study on Embryo Yield Prediction in Microspore Cultures

Coping with Increasing Demand for Wheat

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the second most important staple food crop worldwide, and it is accounting for a considerable amount of global human calorie consumption. Due to population growth and dietary changes, the demand for wheat is predicted to increase by up to 70% until 2050 [1]. Besides optimizing plant protection and plant nutrition, plant breeding exhibits a key role in increasing the productivity per land area.

Hence, new approaches and technologies are needed to meet this increasing demand.

Embryo Yield Prediction in Microspore Cultures with Impedance Flow Cytometry

In a recent study conducted by the applied research center Vegenov, the Amphasys Impedance Flow Cytometer Ampha Z32 was successfully used to characterize the developmental pathway of the microspores during the androgenesis process as well as to predict the embryo yield during the early stages of microspore cultures in wheat. The technology has proven to be a robust and reliable tool for embryo yield prediction within the first seven days of in vitro culture.

Impedance Flow Cytometry Allows the Early Prediction of Embryo Yields in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Microspore Cultures

Abstract :

“Haplomethods are key biotechnological tools that make it possible to rapidly produce perfectly homozygous lines, speeding up plant breeding programs. Under specific stress conditions, microspores are reprogrammed toward sporophytic pathways, leading to embryo formation. Various endogenous and exogenous factors affect embryo yield in androgenesis, so the improvement of androgenesis efficiency requires the development of early, reliable and robust reactivity markers. During the last decade, numerous cytological, cellular and biochemical approaches were carried out to finely characterize microspore development and fate during androgenesis.

However, the different available markers are often species-dependent, and their development and application are time-consuming and cumbersome. In this study, we show the suitable use of impedance flow cytometry (IFC) to develop new robust, reliable and strong markers of androgenesis reactivity in wheat, leading to: (i) routine monitoring of the viability of heterogeneous cell cultures; (ii) quick and simple evaluation of stress treatment efficiency; and (iii) early prediction of embryo yields from microspore suspensions. IFC can therefore provide the fine characterization of all of the microspore developmental pathways that occur in a cell suspension, for embryogenic microspores as well as pollen-like microspores. IFC technology has become a very useful tool to track and characterize wheat microspores in androgenesis, but can also be adapted to other species and other in vitro cell culture systems.” [2]


[1] CGIAR Research Program on Wheat. 2017. Accessed Oct. 20. 2020

[2] J. Canonge, M.Philippot, C. Leblanc, P. Potin, M. Bodin. Impedance flow cytometry allows the early prediction of embryo yields in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) microspore cultures. Plant Science 300 (2020) 110586.

Clostridium difficile bacteria

Quantifying Bacterial Spore Germination by Impedance Flow Cytometry

Ampha Z32 Used as a Diagnostic Tool for the Determination of Host Susceptibility to CDI (Clostridioides difficile infection)

CDI can occur as a result of antibiotic administration and consequent impairment of the gut microbiome, providing best growth conditions to C. diffiicile. This gram-positive bacterium produces toxins that can lead to severe intestinal diseases. Even though C. difficile can be treated with specific antibiotics, its spores are resistant to that treatment and can survive in the intestine. Therefore, CDI recurrence is quite frequent (20-30%!) and due mainly to germination of the dormant spores into vegetative bacteria.

The group of Prof. Nathan Swami at the University of Virginia has impressively shown how it is possible to determine the predisposition for CDI by measuring the germination of C. difficile spores to vegetative bacteria using Amphasys’ Impedance Flow Cytometer (Ampha Z32) on ex vivo cultured samples. This method is much faster (4-5 hours) and more sensitive than conventional, microbiological techniques, which normally need 24 hours for a reliable determination of the microbiome susceptibility to C. difficile spore germination. This underlines the potential of Impedance Flow Cytometry (IFC) as a point-of-care screening tool for CDI-vulnerable patients.

Please contact us, if you would like to read the full article!