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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Research Project #434283

Research Project: High Throughput Phenotyping of Root Architecture Traits

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-046-002-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2018
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

The overall objectives of this research are to identify the physiological mechanisms and underlying genes, determining plant root traits that enable crop plants to adapt and flourish in marginal soils environments. The specific objectives are: 1) Continue to improve the throughput and image quality of the current 2-D pouch system; 2) Develop new platforms suitable for the growth, and image acquisition of the fine root system of Arabidopsis, for 2D and 3D root architecture analysis.

1) For Objective 1, improvements in the optical root imaging system will be in the post-imaging software, to improve the thresholding and skeletonization of images, to be able to better identify fine roots. An assessment of the suitability of this imagining platform across different plant species and growth media will be performed. 2) For Objective 2, based on the existing platforms’ designs, a new platform for imaging smaller and finer root systems form Arabidopsis roots will be developed. The development will require assessing new imaging and growing conditions under non-sterile conditions (commonly used to grow Arabidopsis) suitable for the implementation of 2D – mini- puch systems, as well as for 3D imaging. The suitability of transparent soils (namely Nafion, an heterogeneous transparent polymer substrates) will be evaluated by comparing the Arabidopsis RSA grown in this substrate, to that of roots grown in soil, and those commonly grown in sterile agar media supplemented with nutrients and sucrose.