Background and aims Root system architecture is a vital part of the plant that has been shown to vary between species and within species based on response to genotypic and/or environmental influences. The root traits of wheat seedlings is critical for the establishment and evidently linked to plant height and seed yield. However, plant breeders have not efficiently developed the role of RSA in wheat selection due to the difficulty of studying root traits.
Methods We set up a root phenotyping platform to characterize RSA in 34 wheat accessions. The phenotyping pipeline consists of the germination paper-based moisture replacement system, image capture units, and root-image processing software. The 34 accessions from two different wheat ploidy levels (hexaploids and tetraploids), were characterized in ten replicates. A total of 19 root traits were quantified from the root architecture generated.
Results This pipeline allowed for rapid screening of 340 wheat seedlings within 10days. Also, at least one line from each ploidy (6x and 4x) showed significant differences (P < 0.05) in measured traits except in mean seminal count. Our result also showed strong correlation (0.8) between total root length, maximum depth and convex hull area.
Conclusions This phenotyping pipeline has the advantage and capacity to increase screening potential at early stages of plant development leading to characterization of wheat seedling traits that can be further examined using QTL analysis in populations generated from the examined accessions.
E. Adeleke, R. Millas, W. McNeal, J Faris, A. Taheri "Assessing Root System Architecture of Wheat Seedlings Using A High-Throughput Root Phenotyping System" bioRxiv 677955; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/677955