Development of a phenotyping platform for high throughput screening of nodal root angle in sorghum

Joshi, Dinesh C., Singh, Vijaya, Hunt, Colleen, Mace, Emma, van Oosterom, Erik, Sulman, Richard, Jordan, David and Hammer, Graeme (2017) Development of a phenotyping platform for high throughput screening of nodal root angle in sorghum. Plant Methods, 13 1: . doi:10.1186/s13007-017-0206-2

Author Joshi, Dinesh C.
Singh, Vijaya
Hunt, Colleen
Mace, Emma
van Oosterom, Erik
Sulman, Richard
Jordan, David
Hammer, Graeme
Title Development of a phenotyping platform for high throughput screening of nodal root angle in sorghum
Journal name Plant Methods   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1746-4811
Publication date 2017-07-11
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s13007-017-0206-2
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 1
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 1305 Biotechnology
1311 Genetics
1110 Plant Science
Abstract Background: In sorghum, the growth angle of nodal roots is a major component of root system architecture. It strongly influences the spatial distribution of roots of mature plants in the soil profile, which can impact drought adaptation. However, selection for nodal root angle in sorghum breeding programs has been restricted by the absence of a suitable high throughput phenotyping platform. The aim of this study was to develop a phenotyping platform for the rapid, non-destructive and digital measurement of nodal root angle of sorghum at the seedling stage. Results: The phenotyping platform comprises of 500 soil filled root chambers (50 × 45 × 0.3 cm in size), made of transparent perspex sheets that were placed in metal tubs and covered with polycarbonate sheets. Around 3 weeks after sowing, once the first flush of nodal roots was visible, roots were imaged in situ using an imaging box that included two digital cameras that were remotely controlled by two android tablets. Free software (openGelPhoto.tcl) allowed precise measurement of nodal root angle from the digital images. The reliability and efficiency of the platform was evaluated by screening a large nested association mapping population of sorghum and a set of hybrids in six independent experimental runs that included up to 500 plants each. The platform revealed extensive genetic variation and high heritability (repeatability) for nodal root angle. High genetic correlations and consistent ranking of genotypes across experimental runs confirmed the reproducibility of the platform. Conclusion: This low cost, high throughput root phenotyping platform requires no sophisticated equipment, is adaptable to most glasshouse environments and is well suited to dissect the genetic control of nodal root angle of sorghum. The platform is suitable for use in sorghum breeding programs aiming to improve drought adaptation through root system architecture manipulation.
Keyword Drought
High throughput phenotyping
Nodal root angle
Root system architecture
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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