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.

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!

Corn pollen on corn tassel

Improved Buffer for Corn Pollen Measurement

New AF8/AF9 Buffer for Pollen Analysis on the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer

The Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer allows for a fast, reproducible and highly accurate determination of pollen viability along the pollen supply chain.

Our Amphasys R&D experts have developped two new and improved buffer for the analysis of large pollen such as corn, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and cotton. 

The new AmphaFluid buffer AF8 and AF9 improve sample preparation as they reduce sedimentation. Furthermore, a more accurate concentration measurement is enabled thanks to the new formula of the new buffers.

More information and recommendations for the measurement of pollen or microspores can be found in our “Pollen Analysis Instructions”. 

Art illustration of nanoparticles

Nanotoxicity Screening by Impedance Flow Cytometry

Impedance Flow Cytometry: An Effective and Reliable Tool for Nanotoxicity Screening

Nanomaterials (NMs) have gained enormous attention due to their unique properties and have found use everywhere in daily life applications.

However, this widespread use resulted in an increased release of NMs and raised concerns on their adverse impact on the environment and on human health.

Until recently, there was a lack of standardized methods to assess the toxicity potential of these NMs as traditional toxicity assays have been shown to interfere with NMs resulting in false negatives or false positives.

In a recent study, published in the renowned scientific journal ‘Scientific Reports’, the reliability and applicability of label-free impedance flow cytometry for in-vitro nanotoxicity screening were investigated. The study concludes that IFC is a robust and reliable tool that is less prone to interferences due to the advantage of being label-free (1).

"Label-free impedance flow cytometry for nanotoxicity screening"

Abstract:

The development of reliable and cost-efficient methods to assess the toxicity of nanomaterials (NMs) is critical for the proper identification of their impact on human health and for ensuring a safe progress of nanotechnology. In this study, we investigated the reliability and applicability of label-free impedance flow cytometry (IFC) for in vitro nanotoxicity screening, which avoids time-consuming labelling steps and minimizes possible NM-induced interferences. U937 human lymphoma cells were exposed for 24 h to eight different nanomaterials at five concentrations (2, 10, 20, 50, and 100 μg/mL). The NMs’ effect on viability was measured using IFC and the results were compared to those obtained by trypan blue (TB) dye exclusion and conventional flow cytometry (FC). To discriminate viable from necrotic cells, the IFC measurement settings regarding signal trigger level and frequency, as well as the buffer composition, were optimised. A clear discrimination between viable and necrotic cells was obtained at 6 MHz in a sucrose-based measurement buffer. Nanomaterial-induced interferences were not detected for IFC. The IFC and TB assay results were in accordance for all NMs. The IFC was found to be robust, reliable and less prone to interferences due to the advantage of being label-free.

(1) Label-free impedance flow cytometry for nanotoxicity screening. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56705-3 [accessed Feb 27 2020].

Tomato in greenhouse

Impact of Pollen Quality on Tomato Seed Production

Large-Scale Research Project with Rijk Zwaan

In a recent customer research project, the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer was used to evaluate the pollen quality of over 800 plants in 500 m2 greenhouse area.

The conclusions of the study show:

  • – A clear and distinctive correlation between pollen viability and seed set
  • – Pollen Viability needed to obtain optimum seed set varies per line
  • – The Ampha Z32 is more precise, faster and less prone to human bias than germination assays

If you are keen to know more about this project, please download the file for free.

Amphasys at ASTA Seed Meeting 2019

Amphasys at ASTA Seed Congress 2019

On-Demand Pollination for Corn Seed Production

Discover the benefits of pollen analysis in seed production:

  • – Higher yields
  • – Increased purity
  • – Lower cost of goods

Pollen quality analysis is the key to optimizing the pollination process and hence drive yield improvements, save production costs and increase the quality of your seed. Come see our solutions on the Seed Expo Tour on Thursday at 10:00 am and at the Ag Innovative Showcase on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

Visit the pollen experts at booths #1123 and #1125 at the ASTA Seed Congress and we are happy to show you the technologies that make the difference!

PowerPollen harnesses optimum pollen management by providing seed producers better pollination at lower costs, resulting in a higher return on investment.

The heart of the PowerPollen solution is Amphasys’s high throughput pollen analyzer that enables data-driven pollen quality monitoring and drives yield in plant breeding and seed production.

Neutec Group offers state of the art technologies to enhance any lab performance in the Biotechnology and Agriculture laboratories. Their equipment offers unprecedented analysis for seeds, pollen, and Agro studies. At ASTA they will showcase the Ampha™ Z32 pollen analyzer, manufactured by Amphasys and utilized by Power Pollen – come see it on the Innovation Tour Thursday, December 12, 2019, 10:00 am – 11:30 am.

Marco Di Berardino will be attending the 1st ExoFlowMetry Meeting

Amphasys at 1st ExoFlowMetry Meeting in Rome

Single Cell Analysis with Impedance Flow Cytometry

The potential of flow cytometry (FC) is still large in areas different than the clinical and biomedical applications, for which it is widely applied since the ’60s of the last century. High process stability, multiparametric and analytical precision are typical features for FC, all well suited to different and unconventional (exotic) applications. New fields of application such as pollen analysis and plant breeding, diary production, brewery, winemaking, fish and animal farming, and genomics, inner and outer water quality control, are now available to FC characterization and manipulation, and more and more are fast developing. 

Amphasys as one of the leading companies for practical applications of Impedance Flow Cytometry is proud to be part of the First International Workshop on Exotic Flow Cytometry from November 13 – 15, 2019 in Rome and will present its Ampha Z32 Impedance Flow Cytometer.

Squash

Pollen Analysis for Cucurbita & Malvacea Pollen Made Easy​

Measuring Large Pollen With a Size of Up to 200 µm

Even the largest pollen of up to about 200 µm can now be analyzed with the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer. Species with large pollen such as pumpkin, squash and zucchini (Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo, C. moschata and other C. species) as well as cotton, ocra and hibiscus (and other species of Malvacea family) can now be measured with the new 400 µm AmphaChip. 

In order to ensure smooth measurements with the new 400 µm AmphaChip, the Amphasys R&D experts have developed two new AmphaFluid Buffers, AF8 and AF9 which prevent rapid sedimentation of big pollen.

Ask for our “Large Pollen Kit” containing all the materials needed to get started. For more information please have a look at our information sheet.

Amphasys Cancer Cell Viability

Monitoring of Yeast and Insect Cells in Biotechnology

Rapid Determination of Cell Viability by Impedance Flow Cytometry

In a collaboration with the University of Basel and the Doppelleu Boxer Brewery, we analyzed insect cell cultures and beer fermentations with our Ampha Z32 Impedance Flow Cytometer. The intriguing results were used to optimize the production processes.

Based on these findings we published an article in the journal “Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology” on the determination of cell status, cell viability and optimal harvest time in eukaryotic cell cultures.