Month: February 2015

Saudi Arabian Students joins Plant Accelerator Team to Investigate Salinity Tolerance in Rice

Nadia Al-Tamimi is a PhD student from Saudi Arabia in Professor Mark Tester’s lab at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. She is currently a visitor at The Plant Accelerator and will work with The Plant Accelerator team for a minimum of 8 weeks.

Her project involves high throughput screening methods of two rice diversity panels (Indica and AUS) in controlled environment conditions to determine traits of osmotic tolerance, transpiration and transpiration use efficiency in response to salinity.

The Plant Accelerator team have been guiding and aiding Nadia in all stages of the project, from germination to image analysis. The daily imaging of the plants and weighing of the pots allow monitoring of plant growth and transpiration through time. Combining the two traits will enable measuring transpiration use efficiency and how it is affected by salinity.

“The team at The Plant Accelerator have given me the warmest welcome and have been extremely helpful. I truly thank them as I’m quite new to the field and I’ve been learning lots every day since I’ve arrived and they’ve made my time here in Australia a memorable one!” says Nadia.

Utilization of a high-throughput shoot imaging system to examine the dynamic phenotypic responses of a C4 cereal crop plant to nitrogen and water deficiency over time

Authors:  E.H. Neilson1,2, A.M. Edwards1,C.K. Blomstedt1, B. Berger3, B. Lindberg Møller2,4 and R.M. Gleadow1

Author Affiliations
1School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia
2Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 40 Thorvaldsensvej, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
3The Plant Accelerator, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond 5064, Australia
4Carlsberg Laboratory, Gamle Carlsberg Vej 10, DK-1799 Copenhagen V, Denmark

The Plant Accelerator - Sorghum.The use of high-throughput phenotyping systems and non-destructive imaging is widely regarded as a key technology allowing scientists and breeders to develop crops with the ability to perform well under diverse environmental conditions. However, many of these phenotyping studies have been optimized using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, The Plant Accelerator® at The University of Adelaide, Australia, was used to investigate the growth and phenotypic response of the important cereal crop, Sorghum bicolor L. Moench and related hybrids to water-limited conditions and different levels of fertilizer. Imaging in different spectral ranges was used to monitor plant composition, chlorophyll, and moisture content. Phenotypic image analysis accurately measured plant biomass. The data set obtained enabled the responses of the different sorghum varieties to the experimental treatments to be differentiated and modelled. Plant architectural instead of architecture elements were determined using imaging and found to correlate with an improved tolerance to stress, for example diurnal leaf curling and leaf area index. Analysis of colour images revealed that leaf ‘greenness’ correlated with foliar nitrogen and chlorophyll, while near infrared reflectance (NIR) analysis was a good predictor of water content and leaf thickness, and correlated with plant moisture content. It is shown that imaging sorghum using a high-throughput system can accurately identify and differentiate between growth and specific phenotypic traits. R scripts for robust, parsimonious models are provided to allow other users of phenomic imaging systems to extract useful data readily, and thus relieve a bottleneck in phenotypic screening of multiple genotypes of key crop plants. Full PDF

Bettina Berger on Harvest Radio

Featured image

Senior Scientist Dr Bettina Berger takes the team from Harvest Radio on a tour of The Plant Accelerator, explaining how it works and why it is useful. Listen to podcast