Title Better root traits to be found in rubbish bins Degree of recognition International Media name/outlet The UWA Institute of Agriculture Newsletter Media type Web Country Australia Date 1/08/10 Description A novel phenotyping platform to map root growth of narrow-leafed lupin in rubbish bins has been established at UWA.
One of the aims of this ARC Discovery project is to characterise root traits associated with increased efﬁciency of capturing water and phosphorus by crops growing in soils with limiting and heterogeneous supply of these resources. A core collection of narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) comprising 125 genotypes selected for diversity by DArT (Diversity Array Technology) was screened for root traits in a novel ‘bin’ system at the UWA glasshouse.
The system uses 240-L mobile bins and allows root growth of up to 1-m depth, with repeated observations and measurements of 2-D root structure without the need for destructive sampling. It permits digital mapping of growth dynamics of tap and lateral roots over time. This growing system overcomes the long-standing unsolved problem of phenotyping large sets of genotypes for rooting traits, which is particularly important for identiﬁcation of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and characterization of molecular markers that may be useful in breeding. The extensive data sets acquired from our growth system can be used in root growth models, such as ROOTMAP (UWA) and SimRoot (Pennsylvania State University, USA) that simulate 3-D root structure and function relevant to acquiring water and nutrients from a heterogeneous soil proﬁle.
The follow-up modelling experiments with selected genotypes that have interesting root traits will enable simulation of root structure and function in drying and/or P-deﬁcient environments to develop a computer-aided design of efﬁcient root systems suited to particular environments. This approach has the potential to revolutionise the ﬁeld of breeding for desirable root traits by reducing the time taken to produce superior genotypes.
Producer/Author Dr Yinglong Chen URL www.ioa.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1147076/The_UWA_Institute_of_Agriculture_newsletter_August_2010.pdf Persons Yinglong Chen