EGU22-4020
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4020
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

High-throughput phenotyping of 38 maize varieties for the study of rhizosphere traits affecting agronomic resilience under drought stress 

Shu-Yin Tung1, Tina Köhler2,3, Andreas J. Wild4, Franziska Steiner5, Nicolas Tyborski6, Johanna Pausch4, Tillmann Lüders6, Carsten W. Müller7, Alix Vidal8, Andrea Carminati2, Wouter Vahl9, Jennifer Groth9, Barbara Eder9, and Sebastian Wolfrum1
Shu-Yin Tung et al.
  • 1Institute for Organic Farming, Soil and Resource Management, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, Freising, Germany (shu-yin.tung@lfl.bayern.de)
  • 2Physics of Soils and Terrestrial Ecosystems, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3Soil Physics, Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • 4Agroecology, Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • 5Chair of Soil Science, Technical University of Munich, Freising, Germany
  • 6Ecological Microbiology, Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • 7Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 8Soil Biology Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 9Institute for Crop Science and Plant Breeding, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, Freising, Germany

The occurrence of drought is likely to increase and intensify as a result of climate change, which poses a great challenge to agriculture. It is thus crucial to enhance agronomic resilience to secure food and feed production. Roots and root functioning as well as the interplay of roots with the surrounding soil, the rhizosphere, plays a key role in water acquisition of plants. Investigating rhizosphere traits is hence promising to shed light on future crops that better adapt to drought stress. A great strength of this study is the screening of various varieties which is facilitated by the high-throughput phenotyping method. It allows a wider coverage of traits and especially the genetic and phenetic diversities preserved in landraces.

Maize (Zea mays L.), being one of the major cereal crops worldwide, was selected as the plant of study. A total of 38 varieties, which encompasses hybrid varieties, open pollinated varieties, and landraces, were screened in the “Moving Fields”, a greenhouse equipped with the high-throughput phenotyping facility in the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture. Maize plants were grown in mesocosms filled with loamy soil. Plants were exposed to two water treatments, well-watered and drought-stressed, during vegetative stem extension stage. Dynamic plant development was captured by continuous image acquisition. A visible light (RGB) camera was used to document the size and architecture of shoots and roots, while a chlorophyll fluorescence camera recorded the metabolic activity of shoots.

Using shoot images, we compared variety-specific plant growth curves under well-watered and drought-stressed conditions to highlight the growth strategy of plants towards drought stress. The results reveal differences in growth inhibition during drought across varieties. In addition, differences in shoot and root dry weights are found between landraces and modern varieties. More analyses are in progress in search of rhizosphere traits and their influences on agronomic resilience.

How to cite: Tung, S.-Y., Köhler, T., Wild, A. J., Steiner, F., Tyborski, N., Pausch, J., Lüders, T., Müller, C. W., Vidal, A., Carminati, A., Vahl, W., Groth, J., Eder, B., and Wolfrum, S.: High-throughput phenotyping of 38 maize varieties for the study of rhizosphere traits affecting agronomic resilience under drought stress , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4020, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4020, 2022.

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