Spatio‑temporal modelling of high‑throughput phenotyping data
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High throughput phenotyping (HTP) platforms and devices are increasingly used to characterise growth and developmental processes for large sets of plant genotypes. This dissertation is motivated by the need to accurately estimate genetic effects over time when analysing data from such HTP experiments. The HTP data we deal with here are characterised by phenotypic traits measured multiple times in the presence of spatial and temporal noise and a hierarchical organisation at three levels (populations, genotypes within populations, and plants within genotypes). The challenge is to balance efficient statistical models and com- putational solutions to deal with the complexity and dimensionality of the experimental data. To that aim, we propose two strategies. The first proposal divides the problem into two stages. The first stage (spatial model) focuses on correcting the phenotypic data for experimental design factors and spatial variation, while the second stage (hierarchical longitudinal model) aims to estimate the evolution over time of the genetic signal. The second proposal is to face the problem simultaneously (one-stage approach). That is, mod- elling the longitudinal evolution of the genetic effect on a given phenotypic trait while accounting for the temporal and spatial effects of environmental and design factors (spatio-temporal hierarchical model). We follow the same modelling philosophy throughout our work and propose multidimensional P-spline-based hierarchical approaches. We provide the user with appealing tools that take advantage of the sparse model matrices structure to reduce computational complexity. All our codes are publicly available on the R-package statgenHTP and https://gitlab.bcamath.org/dperez/htp_one_stage_approach. We illustrate the performance of our methods using spatio-temporal simulated data and data from the PhenoArch greenhouse platform at INRAE Montpellier and the outdoor Field Phenotyping platform at ETH Zürich. In the plant breeding context, we show how to extract new time-independent phenotypes for genomic selection purposes.