An international collaborative project involving research groups from the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies (ACVT) led by Anton van den Hengel, BayerCrop Science in Belgium, The Plant Accelerator at the University of Adelaide and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia is leading to the development of novel image analysis approaches that allow extracting structural information of crop plants from 2D images. Funded through an ARC Linkage Grant, the project is aimed at measuring crop development and structure and how they are impacted by stress conditions to help select promising varieties from large scale screens.
The method for recovering the structure of a plant directly from a small set of widely-spaced images is described in this publication.
Zeeshan Khan, a visiting PhD student from Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, is currently working with the salt tolerance research group led by Dr Richard James in CSIRO’s Agriculture Flagship. Over the next six months, Zeeshan will be working at the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre (HRPPC), the Canberra node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility.
Zeeshan’s PhD project aims to phenotype a large mapping population of primary D-genome synthetic hexaploid wheat for novel salt tolerance traits. The primary focus will be the osmotic component of salinity stress. With guidance from Richard James and assistance from the HRPPC team, Zeeshan will grow wheat seedlings in hydroponics in controlled environment growth cabinets for use in multiple experiments. His work involves capturing temperature response to salinity, a surrogate for osmotic stress tolerance. Zeeshan will quantify his results by using the analysis of images and data extracted by the HRPPC’s infrared thermography platform, TRAYSCAN. He hopes this will allow him to map novel QTL for tolerance to the osmotic component of salinity stress.
Zeeshan says “The team is professional and friendly, they are always interested in my work. My time in Australia is already proving very beneficial”.
”Screening protocols developed at CSIRO, together with the use of the latest high throughput non-destructive imaging platforms such as TRAYSCAN at the HRPPC, provide a unique opportunity to screen this collection of wheat using technology not available in Pakistan”, says Richard James.
Mindy Wilson, manager of the phenotyping facility at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, is currently visiting The Plant Accelerator to work alongside the staff in Adelaide and to strengthen existing links between the two facilities.
“I have the good fortune of being able to spend a week with the staff of The Plant Accelerator, who are highly regarded around the world as experts in high-throughput plant phenotyping. The Bellwether Phenotyping Facility at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has been up and running for just over a year, but there is always room for process improvements. I came to The Plant Accelerator to build relationships and learn from the best, and I will leave with great friends and invaluable knowledge and skills to bring back to St. Louis”, says Mindy.
It’s been a pleasure having you with us, Mindy!
A concerted effort to decode the genetic basis of tolerance to the yield and quality effects of heat stress in wheat is underway in a multi-institutional collaboration involving Dr Nick Collin’s research group at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus and research groups at the NSW Department of Primary Industries in Wagga Wagga and Tamworth.
The GRDC funded collaboration included work undertaken at The Plant Accelerator®, the Adelaide node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, where vegetative growth rate and chlorophyll content responses of wheat seedlings to a brief heat stress was measured using automated high-throughput plant imaging.
The project, which has made considerable progress in developing genetic ‘tools’ to select heat tolerant genotypes for future crops able to withstand heat stress, has been summarised in the March-April 2015 issue of Ground Cover. Groundcover Issue