From lab to field, new approaches to phenotyping root system architecture.
Plant root system architecture (RSA) is plastic and dynamic, allowing plants to respond to their environment in order to optimize acquisition of important soil resources. A number of RSA traits are known to be correlated with improved crop performance. There is increasing recognition that future gains in productivity, especially under low input conditions, can be achieved through optimization of RSA. However, realization of this goal has been hampered by low resolution and low throughput approaches for characterizing RSA. To overcome these limitations, new methods are being developed to facilitate high throughput and high content RSA phenotyping. Here we summarize laboratory and field approaches for phenotyping RSA, drawing particular attention to recent advances in plant imaging and analysis. Improvements in phenotyping will facilitate the genetic analysis of RSA and aid in the identification of the genetic loci underlying useful agronomic traits.
Zhu, J; Ingram, PA; Benfey, PN; Elich, T
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