The rapid development of genomic technology has made high throughput genotyping widely accessible but the associated high throughput phenotyping is now the major limiting factor in genetic analysis of traits. This paper evaluates the use of thermal imaging for the high throughput field phenotyping of Solanum tuberosum for differences in stomatal behaviour. A large multi-replicated trial of a potato mapping population was used to investigate the consistency in genotypic rankings across different trials and across measurements made at different times of day and on different days. The results confirmed a high degree of consistency between the genotypic rankings based on relative canopy temperature on different occasions. Genotype discrimination was enhanced both through normalising data by expressing genotype temperatures as differences from image means and through the enhanced replication obtained by using overlapping images. A Monte Carlo simulation approach was used to confirm the magnitude of genotypic differences that it is possible to discriminate. The results showed a clear negative association between canopy temperature and final tuber yield for this population, when grown under ample moisture supply. We have therefore established infrared thermography as an easy, rapid and non-destructive screening method for evaluating large population trials for genetic analysis. We also envisage this approach as having great potential for evaluating plant response to stress under field conditions.
Prashar, A., Yildiz, J., Mcnicol, J. W., Bryan, G. J., & Jones, H. (2013). Infra-red Thermography for High Throughput Field Phenotyping in Solanum tuberosum. PLoS One, 8(6), 9pp. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0065816