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Title: An automated, cost-effective and scalable, flood-and-drain based root phenotyping system for cereals
Authors: Słota, Michał
Małuszyński, Mirosław
Szarejko, Iwona
Keywords: Barley; Hydroponics; Root imaging; Root phenotyping; Root system
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Plant Methods, Iss. 1 (2016), s. 1-15
Abstract: Background: Genetic studies on the molecular mechanisms of the regulation of root growth require the characterisation of a specific root phenotype to be linked with a certain genotype. Such studies using classical labour-intensive methods are severely hindered due to the technical limitations that are associated with the impeded observation of the root system of a plant during its growth. The aim of the research presented here was to develop a reliable, cost-effective method for the analysis of a plant root phenotype that would enable the precise characterisation of the root system architecture of cereals. Results: The presented method describes a complete system for automatic supplementation and continuous sensing of culture solution supplied to plants that are grown in transparent tubes containing a solid substrate. The presented system comprises the comprehensive pipeline consisting of a modular-based and remotely-controlled plant growth system and customized imaging setup for root and shoot phenotyping. The system enables an easy extension of the experimental capacity in order to form a combined platform that is comprised of parallel modules, each holding up to 48 plants. The conducted experiments focused on the selection of the most suitable conditions for phenotyping studies in barley: an optimal size of the glass beads, diameters of the acrylic tubes, composition of a medium, and a rate of the medium flow. Conclusions: The developed system enables an efficient, accurate and highly repeatable analysis of the morphological features of the root system of cereals. Because a simple and fully-automated control system is used, the experimental conditions can easily be normalised for different species of cereals. The scalability of the module-based system allows its capacity to be adjusted in order to meet the requirements of a particular experiment.
DOI: 10.1186/s13007-016-0135-5
ISSN: 1746-4811
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

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