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A new emphasis on root traits for perennial grass and legume varieties with environmental and ecological benefits

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Grasslands cover a significant proportion of the agricultural land within the UK and across the EU, providing a relatively cheap source of feed for ruminants and supporting the production of meat, wool and milk from grazing animals. Delivering efficient animal production from grassland systems has traditionally been the primary focus of grassland‐based research. But there is increasing recognition of the ecological and environmental benefits of these grassland systems and the importance of the interaction between their component plants and a host of other biological organisms in the soil and in adjoining habitats. Many of the ecological and environmental benefits provided by grasslands emanate from the interactions between the roots of plant species and the soil in which they grow. We review current knowledge on the role of grassland ecosystems in delivering ecological and environmental benefits. We will consider how improved grassland can deliver these benefits, and the potential opportunities for plant breeding to improve specific traits that will enhance these benefits whilst maintaining forage production for livestock consumption. Opportunities for exploiting new plant breeding approaches, including high throughput phenotyping, and for introducing traits from closely related species are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


(a) Festulolium grass hybrid growing in potting compost within a 12 × 12 × 50 cm clear column for root analysis over consecutive months in the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS and (b) Root ontogeny measures derived from comparisons in root density scores of a Festulolium grass hybrid taken over 4 consecutive months. Mean root density scores are calculated from 12 merged root images each representing consecutive 5 cm sections along a 50 cm root column. High vis camera images were captured and merged at the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS.
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fes378-fig-0001: (a) Festulolium grass hybrid growing in potting compost within a 12 × 12 × 50 cm clear column for root analysis over consecutive months in the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS and (b) Root ontogeny measures derived from comparisons in root density scores of a Festulolium grass hybrid taken over 4 consecutive months. Mean root density scores are calculated from 12 merged root images each representing consecutive 5 cm sections along a 50 cm root column. High vis camera images were captured and merged at the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS.

Mentions: Other phenotyping approaches are also available to study the root architecture of forage grasses and legumes and to quantify the impact of different root architecture on water flow and nutrient dynamics. For example, the NPPC at IBERS provides dynamic (nondestructive) developmental and physiological imaging of shoots and roots of plants automatically moved from controlled environments to imaging systems. This state‐of‐the art system is designed for automatic, high throughput, nondestructive phenotyping of a wide range of plant material. Near infrared (NIR) thermography provides multiple‐sided imaging of roots and soil, to detect root growth and soil water content profile changes for plants grown in root columns. In this system, root columns are transported on carriages identified by RFID tags allowing each plant to be imaged, and provided with precise watering and nutrition (or, if necessary, sprayed). Watering, nutrient, and weighing stations allow precise control on a per‐plant basis for controlled drought, nutrient, and water stress experiments. An example of an output of the detailed monitoring of monthly changes in root distribution and number for a Festulolium hybrid‐derivative is shown in Fig. 1.


A new emphasis on root traits for perennial grass and legume varieties with environmental and ecological benefits
(a) Festulolium grass hybrid growing in potting compost within a 12 × 12 × 50 cm clear column for root analysis over consecutive months in the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS and (b) Root ontogeny measures derived from comparisons in root density scores of a Festulolium grass hybrid taken over 4 consecutive months. Mean root density scores are calculated from 12 merged root images each representing consecutive 5 cm sections along a 50 cm root column. High vis camera images were captured and merged at the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS.
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4998135&req=5

fes378-fig-0001: (a) Festulolium grass hybrid growing in potting compost within a 12 × 12 × 50 cm clear column for root analysis over consecutive months in the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS and (b) Root ontogeny measures derived from comparisons in root density scores of a Festulolium grass hybrid taken over 4 consecutive months. Mean root density scores are calculated from 12 merged root images each representing consecutive 5 cm sections along a 50 cm root column. High vis camera images were captured and merged at the National Plant Phenomics Centre at IBERS.
Mentions: Other phenotyping approaches are also available to study the root architecture of forage grasses and legumes and to quantify the impact of different root architecture on water flow and nutrient dynamics. For example, the NPPC at IBERS provides dynamic (nondestructive) developmental and physiological imaging of shoots and roots of plants automatically moved from controlled environments to imaging systems. This state‐of‐the art system is designed for automatic, high throughput, nondestructive phenotyping of a wide range of plant material. Near infrared (NIR) thermography provides multiple‐sided imaging of roots and soil, to detect root growth and soil water content profile changes for plants grown in root columns. In this system, root columns are transported on carriages identified by RFID tags allowing each plant to be imaged, and provided with precise watering and nutrition (or, if necessary, sprayed). Watering, nutrient, and weighing stations allow precise control on a per‐plant basis for controlled drought, nutrient, and water stress experiments. An example of an output of the detailed monitoring of monthly changes in root distribution and number for a Festulolium hybrid‐derivative is shown in Fig. 1.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Grasslands cover a significant proportion of the agricultural land within the UK and across the EU, providing a relatively cheap source of feed for ruminants and supporting the production of meat, wool and milk from grazing animals. Delivering efficient animal production from grassland systems has traditionally been the primary focus of grassland‐based research. But there is increasing recognition of the ecological and environmental benefits of these grassland systems and the importance of the interaction between their component plants and a host of other biological organisms in the soil and in adjoining habitats. Many of the ecological and environmental benefits provided by grasslands emanate from the interactions between the roots of plant species and the soil in which they grow. We review current knowledge on the role of grassland ecosystems in delivering ecological and environmental benefits. We will consider how improved grassland can deliver these benefits, and the potential opportunities for plant breeding to improve specific traits that will enhance these benefits whilst maintaining forage production for livestock consumption. Opportunities for exploiting new plant breeding approaches, including high throughput phenotyping, and for introducing traits from closely related species are discussed.

No MeSH data available.