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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301849

Title: Advances in Phenotyping of Functional Traits in Phenomics of Crop Plants:Trends, Options,and Limitations

item CHEN, CHARLES - Auburn University
item Butts, Christopher - Chris
item Dang, Phat
item Wang, Ming

Submitted to: Springer Verlag
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/2/2014
Publication Date: 4/8/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Chen, C., Butts, C.L., Dang, P.M., Wang, M.L. 2015. Advances in Phenotyping of Functional Traits. In: Kumar, J., editor. Phenomics in Crop Plants: Trends, Options and Limitations. India: Springer. p 163-180. doi: 10.1007/978-81-322-2226-2_11

Interpretive Summary: Phenotyping is the process of linking specific genetic information of a plant or animal to specific characteristics of the same plant or animal. For instance, a specific peanut variety is known to be able to ward off infection by nematodes. Identifying the specific portion of that peanut variety’s DNA that is triggered in response to an attempted infection by nematodes, allows a traditional plant breeder to test new peanut varieties for the presence of the “nematode resistance DNA” and thus increase the probability of developing new varieties with resistance to nematodes. However, identifying the genetic makeup of a plant and the resulting response to environment pressures requires testing of a very large number of plants under a wide variety of environmental conditions. This book chapter is a review of the latest research in identifying the genetic controls of plant response to the environment and the resulting quality of the harvested commodity.

Technical Abstract: In plants, functional traits are morphological, biochemical, physiological, structural, phenological, or behavioral characteristics that are expressed in phenotypes of individual plants,that are relevant to the plant’s role in the ecosystem or its agronomic performance. By themselves, functional traits govern the organism’s effects on ecosystem processes and/or its response to the physical and biotic environment pressures called response traits Plant phenotyping attempts to quantify functional traits that involve plant quality, photo-synthesis, development, architecture, growth and biomass productivity of single plants using different analysis procedures. Phenotyping provides a cortical means to understand morphological, biochemical, physiological principles in the control of basic plant functions as well as for selecting superior genotypes in plant breeding. Besides well-known classical plant phenotyping procedures based on visual observations, measurements, or biochemical analyses, many recent developments are target-speci'c and highly automated analysis procedures. The technological developments for laboratory or greenhouse-based phenotyping have been dramatically improved, complemented by other techniques, and brought to a platform of high throughput. Automated phenotyping approaches are far more successful at the laboratory and greenhouse scale than in field conditions where many other variable factors complicate the retrieval of imaging data collected in the field. With respect to plant breeding, rapid measurement procedures, high throughput, a high degree of automation, and access to appropriate, well-conceived databases are required to depict the performance of certain genotypes in the field. This chapter will focus on destructive, non-destructive, and automated techniques available to quantify plant morphological and biomass traits, root system architecture, physiology functional traits, biochemical quality and nutritional compositions, and post-harvest characteristics.