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refereed
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Integrated phenotyping of root and shoot growth dynamics in maize reveals specific interaction patterns in inbreds and hybrids and in response to drought

Affiliation
Department of Molecular Genetics, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Seeland, Germany
Shi, Rongli;
GND
136801722
Affiliation
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Institute for Resistance Research and Stress Tolerance, Germany
Seiler, Christiane;
GND
120923985X
Affiliation
Department of Molecular Genetics, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Seeland, Germany
Knoch, Dominic;
GND
140864083
Affiliation
Department of Molecular Genetics, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Seeland, Germany; present address: Phenomics Department, Syngenta Seeds GmbH, Bad Salzuflen, Germany
Junker, Astrid;
Affiliation
Department of Molecular Genetics, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Seeland, Germany
Altmann, Thomas

In recent years, various automated methods for plant phenotyping addressing roots or shoots have been developed and corresponding platforms have been established to meet the diverse requirements of plant research and breeding. However, most platforms are only either able to phenotype shoots or roots of plants but not both simultaneously. This substantially limits the opportunities offered by a joint assessment of the growth and development dynamics of both organ systems, which are highly interdependent. In order to overcome these limitations, a root phenotyping installation was integrated into an existing automated non-invasive high-throughput shoot phenotyping platform. Thus, the amended platform is now capable of conducting high-throughput phenotyping at the whole-plant level, and it was used to assess the vegetative root and shoot growth dynamics of five maize inbred lines and four hybrids thereof, as well as the responses of five inbred lines to progressive drought stress. The results showed that hybrid vigour (heterosis) occurred simultaneously in roots and shoots and was detectable as early as 4 days after transplanting (4 DAT; i.e., 8 days after seed imbibition) for estimated plant height (EPH), total root length (TRL), and total root volume (TRV). On the other hand, growth dynamics responses to progressive drought were different in roots and shoots. While TRV was significantly reduced 10 days after the onset of the water deficit treatment, the estimated shoot biovolume was significantly reduced about 6 days later, and EPH showed a significant decrease even 2 days later (8 days later than TRV) compared with the control treatment. In contrast to TRV, TRL initially increased in the water deficit period and decreased much later (not earlier than 16 days after the start of the water deficit treatment) compared with the well-watered plants. This may indicate an initial response of the plants to water deficit by forming longer but thinner roots before growth was inhibited by the overall water deficit. The magnitude and the dynamics of the responses were genotypedependent, as well as under the influence of the water consumption, which was related to plant size.

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License Holder: 2023 Shi, Seiler, Knoch, Junker and Altmann.

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