Minimum requirements for an experiment
Every environmental factor influences plant growth and development. Usually when we recognize one or multiple stress factor then we design and perform experiments to analyze and understand this interaction. Often we describe the biological response of plants to these factors, explore the biochemical or biophysical mechanisms or manipulate the DNA to understand or create new biological responses. A rather important step here it the careful characterization of the experiment including the preparation, performance of the experiment with monitoring of the environment and the analysis of the results.
Here we provide a minimum set of minimum guidelines and requirements to assess plant environment interaction. Many existing experimental platforms have very limited tools for environmental characterization. Commercially available platforms in controlled conditions provide no-built in solution for collection, storage and analysis of environmental data. Standardization of the acquisition of environmental data, though, is the key in plant experiments and these protocols need to be widely available. Carful description of the experimental conditions will help other experimentalists to reproduce the experiment, to identify hidden factors or enable meta-studies. The figure below provides a list of parameters that we consider important for the description of an experiment in a publication. The minimum and extended requirements to assess this parameters as well as guidelines and recommendations on what sensors are useful to measure what parameter, calibration and maintenance issues etc. are included in the subsections.