Caution: Updating from V1.17 to 2.XXX firmware.

We have had reports that some (but not all) devices with old V1.17 firmware have lost their PAR calibrations when updating to V 2.036 or above. We are looking into this issue, and are testing a fix, which we will release as soon as possible. It is pretty clear, though that once the devices are recalibrated there should be no issues, Meanwhile, if you have a device with V1.17, hold off on updating until the fix arrives.

This message is also on the Forum.


New Firmware, Improved Compass Routine

MultispeQ Firmware v2.0038 has a new and improved compass routine, that can more reliably read compass direction when the device is tilted. Once the instrument is updated, you must calibrate the compass to enable it to work.

More information is given in the announcements section of the forum.

Please follow these steps:

1) Connect to the desktop app, and access the console.

2) Enter the command calibrate_magnetometer

3) Rotate the device in ALL directions. Make sure the nose of the instrument draws out a “sphere” in the air. Also, ensure the instrument is rolled in all directions while calibrating (Like a plane does a barrel roll). All movements should be slow and arc-like.

4) After calibrating the magnetometer, find the protocol “compass and tilt only”.

5) Point the MultispeQ towards a cardinal direction, and select “run”. Ensure that the measurement “Compass_direction” shows the direction the device was pointed. Repeat for all cardinal directions.

6) Put the MultispeQ on a level surface and run the protocol again. The measurements “Angle”, “Pitch”, and “Roll” should all be close to 0 or 1. If not, please recalibrate the instrument, taking extra care to rotate the device in all directions.

7) Tilt the instrument on its side. Run the protocol, and make sure “Roll” shows a value of around +/-90.

8) Turn the instrument upside-down. Run the protocol, and ensure the value for “Roll” is close to +/-180.

9) Next, tilt the instrument’s nose upwards at an angle. The value “Pitch” should reflect the angle the MultispeQ is tilted. If the device passes these tests, the magnetometer was calibrated successfully.

After updating, if your device is having trouble taking measurements or is acting slow, calibrate the open and closed positions. To do so, access the console on the desktop app and type in set_open_closed_positions. Open the device’s clamp 2mm~, and enter “+” into the console. Then, open the clamp to 4mm~, and enter “+” into the console.

New Firmware, New MultispeQ, Updated Apps

The PhotosynQ team has been working hard to bring you a new, updated platform! Starting now, and continuing over the next few weeks, we will be releasing new versions of the MultispeQ, firmware (with new associated programming tools), and desktop App.

MultispeQ Version 2.0. Many users are already receiving the new V2.0 device, which has a lot of updated capabilities. Some of these are obvious (like the nice blinking lights that tell you what the instrument is doing. and others. like compatibility with stomatal new conductance measurements, will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

MultispeQ Firmware Version 2.0 for both V1 and V2 devices. This is a major upgrade with lots of new features and improvements. Although the new version is almost completely backwards compatible, it allows much greater flexibility and powerful programming. We will be introducing the new capabilities in installments over the coming weeks.

PhotosynQ Desktop App. We are releasing a new version of the Desktop App which will replace the current one for the Google Chrome Browser (Chrome App). One  reason is that support will be ended for Chrome Apps on Windows and MacOS. Other important reasons for the update are to accommodate new capabilities of Firmware 2.0 and higher, and give you more powerful analytics and visualization tools.

PhotosynQ Android App To make use of the new capabilities of the MultispeQ, the team has been working to update the Android App. You will receive email or popup notifications about how to update your App. (You absolutely need this update to use the new devices, but it will still work with V1.0.).

This blog post is also available on our Forum:

New PhotosynQ Related Publication

Check out the new publication in the Biocontrol Science and Technology, using the MultispeQ and PhotosynQ Platform (10.1080/09583157.2017.1376035)

Genotype-specific responses to the effects of commercial Trichoderma formulations in lentil (Lens culinaris ssp. culinaris) in the presence and absence of the oomycete pathogen Aphanomyces euteiches

Pratibha Prashar & Albert Vandenberg

Members of the endophytic fungal genus Trichoderma have been established as plant-beneficial microbes and are most successful commercial biologicals in the form of bio-fertilisers, biocontrol agents, and growth stimulators. We report the variable interactions among different lentil genotypes and Trichoderma strains in both the presence and absence of biotic stress (root-rot pathogen Aphanomyces euteiches). Two commercial Trichoderma formulations, namely RootShield® (RS) and RootShield® Plus (RSP) based on T. harzianum T22 and T. virens G41, respectively, were evaluated for control of Aphanomyces root rot and plant growth promotion in 23 wild and cultivated lentil genotypes. No significant disease control was recorded with either formulation in any lentil genotype. Significant genotype-specific plant growth promotion was observed in terms of root and shoot development and leaf parameters in a genotype-specific manner. Genotypes of Lens culinaris and Lens tomentosus, both in the primary lentil gene pool, demonstrated the maximum response. The overall effect of Trichoderma treatment was markedly higher under biotically stressed conditions in comparison to unstressed conditions. In many cases, negative responses were recorded, particularly in the absence of root-rot disease. L. tomentosus PI 572390 exhibited positive responses for most of the tested parameters. Our findings clearly indicate that, in the case of lentil, plant genotype plays a major role in interactions among the tested Trichoderma strains and the plant. Moreover, the influence of Trichoderma was greater and more favourable under conditions of biotic stress vs. the absence of stress.

More PhotosynQ related publications are available here

New PhotosynQ Related Publication

Check out the new publication in the Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Sciences, using the MultispeQ and PhotosynQ Platform (10.5897/JPBCS2017.0679 )

Evaluation of Cowpea Genotypes for Resistance to Fusarium redolens in Uganda

Namasaka Roy Wanjala, Geoffrey Tusiime, Orawu Martin, Paul Gibson, Symphorien Agbahoungba, Alladassi Mahule Elyse Boris, Richard Edema

Fusarium related root rots have been associated with reduced cowpea productivity in Uganda. Sources of genetic resistance to Fusarium redolens which was found to be the most virulent have been identified but the mode of inheritance of the genes conferring the resistance is unknown. This study aims to investigate how the genes for resistance to F. redolens are inherited in cowpea. Four F. redolens root rot resistant cowpea genotypes were crossed with four intermediately resistant and 2 susceptible cowpea genotypes using North Carolina mating design II. The F1 and the parents were evaluated and data were collected on resistance to seed rot, leaf chlorophyll amount, produced lateral roots, response to plant mortality and root rot severity. Results revealed that additive gene effects were significant for all evaluated traits and non-additive genetic effects were significant in resistance to seed rot and chlorophyll amount. General combining ability (GCA) effects showed that the Asontem genotype was a good combiner for increased lateral roots production and resistance to root rot. Degree of dominance estimates revealed that response to plant mortality, root rots and increased lateral root production traits were recessively inherited while seed rot and amount of leaf chlorophyll were dominantly inherited.

More PhotosynQ related publications are available here

PhotosynQ Focus : Osamu Watanabe

Focusing on how the community is using PhotosynQ technologies. This month we are highlighting Osamu Watanabe, a researcher at the Agriculture Facility at Shinshu University studying invasive weed species and their effect on rice.


When Osamu Watanabe was first introduced to PhotosynQ by Dr. Kenji.Takizawa, a coworker at his laboratory at Shinshu University in Japan, he thought not only would this platform be great for him, but also his students!  Osamu graduated from and works in the Agricultural Facility at Shinshu University in the Nagano prefecture in central Japan. Nagano was the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics as the surrounding terrain is very mountainous, which is not only great for skiing, but also for high altitude terraced rice farming!


Dr. Watanabe’s research focuses on invasive weed species in Japan and how they effect both the natural environment and agriculture. In Japan, rice is the most important food crop grown, and Dr. Watanabe uses his MultispeQ to measure the photosynthesis of both the rice and common weed species such as Ambrosia trifida (Giant Ragweed) and Oryza sativa (Weedy Red Rice). In these cases, Dr. Watanabe will “measure the photosynthesis characteristics of the plants in different density communities using MultispeQ”. This data can help them determine the weed density where the weeds outcompete the crop, causing a drop in crop photosynthesis. Measurements are also made after herbicides have been applied to evaluate how herbicide application rate impacts the photosynthetic rate of both the crop and weed.


In addition to research, Dr. Watanabe also teaches multiple classes at the university where he has integrated the PhotosynQ platform into his curriculum. He teaches students in their 3rd year of undergrad, about 50 in the class, all the way up to Master’s students, and they all get out there with MultispeQs, take measurements and learn more about invasive weed species. I was nervous that this might be difficult for his students since Dr. Watanabe says none of them speak English and the platform, app and other aspects are in English. However Dr. Watanabe said that when they pick up devices and create projects they “operate intuitively” and that  as “students teach the other students, [their] skills rise, so I only have to watch” He added that “PhotsynQ’s website is very easy to use, simple analysis of the collected data is also available in the tool, so it is very handy!”


It was great to hear the Dr. Watanabe is getting along great with the PhotosynQ platform. He is learning more and more about the weed species he hopes to curtail along with teaching the next generation of plant scientists about PhotosynQ.






New PhotosynQ Related Publication

Check out the new publication in Photosynthesis Research, using the MultispeQ and PhotosynQ Platform (10.1007/s11120-017-0449-9)

Faster photosynthetic induction in tobacco by expressing cyanobacterial flavodiiron proteins in chloroplasts

Rodrigo Gómez, Néstor Carrillo, María P. Morelli, Suresh Tula, Fahimeh Shahinnia, Mohammad-Reza Hajirezaei, Anabella F. Lodeyro

Plants grown in the field experience sharp changes in irradiation due to shading effects caused by clouds, other leaves, etc. The excess of absorbed light energy is dissipated by a number of mechanisms including cyclic electron transport, photorespiration, and Mehler-type reactions. This protection is essential for survival but decreases photosynthetic efficiency. All phototrophs except angiosperms harbor flavodiiron proteins (Flvs) which relieve the excess of excitation energy on the photosynthetic electron transport chain by reducing oxygen directly to water. Introduction of cyanobacterial Flv1/Flv3 in tobacco chloroplasts resulted in transgenic plants that showed similar photosynthetic performance under steady-state illumination, but displayed faster recovery of various photosynthetic parameters, including electron transport and non-photochemical quenching during dark–light transitions. They also kept the electron transport chain in a more oxidized state and enhanced the proton motive force of dark-adapted leaves. The results indicate that, by acting as electron sinks during light transitions, Flvs contribute to increase photosynthesis protection and efficiency under changing environmental conditions as those found by plants in the field.

More PhotosynQ related publications are available here