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Intensive field phenotyping of maize (Zea mays L.) root crowns identifies phenes and phene integration associated with plant growth and nitrogen acquisition.

York LM, Lynch JP - J. Exp. Bot. (2015)

Bottom Line: Root phenes from both older and younger whorls of nodal roots contributed to variation in shoot mass and N uptake.The additive integration of root phenes accounted for 70% of the variation observed in shoot mass in low N soil.These results demonstrate the utility of intensive phenotyping of mature root systems, as well as the importance of phene integration in soil resource acquisition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA Ecology Graduate Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

No MeSH data available.


A mature root crown of maize is dissected by excising whorls of nodal roots from the outside to expose the next layer and imaging with a digital camera. In this series of images, whorls are excised from outer to inner, from left to right, and top to bottom. Top left depicts the outermost brace roots at node position 7, while crown roots at node position 1 are on the bottom, second from right, and the seminal root system, not measured, is at bottom right. Root phenes were measured for every nodal whorl.
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Figure 1: A mature root crown of maize is dissected by excising whorls of nodal roots from the outside to expose the next layer and imaging with a digital camera. In this series of images, whorls are excised from outer to inner, from left to right, and top to bottom. Top left depicts the outermost brace roots at node position 7, while crown roots at node position 1 are on the bottom, second from right, and the seminal root system, not measured, is at bottom right. Root phenes were measured for every nodal whorl.

Mentions: The original shovelomics method (Trachsel et al., 2011) was modified to accelerate field processing while permitting more intensive measurements. Root crowns were kept in large plastic bins submerged in water inside a 5 °C cold room until they were imaged within 1 week. Root crowns were imaged using digital cameras attached to frames with camera mounts such that the camera was facing down from a height of 50cm. Three identical cameras (PowerShot A1200, Canon, Melville, NY, USA) operated by three researchers were used to process samples quickly. Root crowns were placed under the camera on a matte black background. A 3cm white plastic disk was included as a scale in every image, along with a printed sample label. Camera zoom and focus were kept locked for the duration of the imaging. An image was taken of every whorl of nodal roots (Fig. 1) by removing all roots in a node sequentially. A representative nodal root (average diameter, not diseased) was excised from the side of the root crown not facing the camera for each whorl and placed to the side of the root crown such that both root crown and representative nodal root were in frame of the image. Imaging all whorls of a maize root crown required ~10min on average, depending on the number of whorls and the number of roots in each whorl.


Intensive field phenotyping of maize (Zea mays L.) root crowns identifies phenes and phene integration associated with plant growth and nitrogen acquisition.

York LM, Lynch JP - J. Exp. Bot. (2015)

A mature root crown of maize is dissected by excising whorls of nodal roots from the outside to expose the next layer and imaging with a digital camera. In this series of images, whorls are excised from outer to inner, from left to right, and top to bottom. Top left depicts the outermost brace roots at node position 7, while crown roots at node position 1 are on the bottom, second from right, and the seminal root system, not measured, is at bottom right. Root phenes were measured for every nodal whorl.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585417&req=5

Figure 1: A mature root crown of maize is dissected by excising whorls of nodal roots from the outside to expose the next layer and imaging with a digital camera. In this series of images, whorls are excised from outer to inner, from left to right, and top to bottom. Top left depicts the outermost brace roots at node position 7, while crown roots at node position 1 are on the bottom, second from right, and the seminal root system, not measured, is at bottom right. Root phenes were measured for every nodal whorl.
Mentions: The original shovelomics method (Trachsel et al., 2011) was modified to accelerate field processing while permitting more intensive measurements. Root crowns were kept in large plastic bins submerged in water inside a 5 °C cold room until they were imaged within 1 week. Root crowns were imaged using digital cameras attached to frames with camera mounts such that the camera was facing down from a height of 50cm. Three identical cameras (PowerShot A1200, Canon, Melville, NY, USA) operated by three researchers were used to process samples quickly. Root crowns were placed under the camera on a matte black background. A 3cm white plastic disk was included as a scale in every image, along with a printed sample label. Camera zoom and focus were kept locked for the duration of the imaging. An image was taken of every whorl of nodal roots (Fig. 1) by removing all roots in a node sequentially. A representative nodal root (average diameter, not diseased) was excised from the side of the root crown not facing the camera for each whorl and placed to the side of the root crown such that both root crown and representative nodal root were in frame of the image. Imaging all whorls of a maize root crown required ~10min on average, depending on the number of whorls and the number of roots in each whorl.

Bottom Line: Root phenes from both older and younger whorls of nodal roots contributed to variation in shoot mass and N uptake.The additive integration of root phenes accounted for 70% of the variation observed in shoot mass in low N soil.These results demonstrate the utility of intensive phenotyping of mature root systems, as well as the importance of phene integration in soil resource acquisition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA Ecology Graduate Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

No MeSH data available.