Root imaging showing comparisons in root distribution and ontogeny in novel Festulolium populations and closely related perennial ryegrass varieties

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Humphreys, M. W., Doonan, J. H., Boyle, R., Rodriguez, A. C., Marley, C. L., Williams, K., Farrell, M. S., Brook, J., Gasior, D., Loka, D., Collins, R. P., Marshall, A. H., Allen, D. K., Yadav, R. S., Dungait, J. A. J., Murray, P. J. and Harper, J. A. 2018. Root imaging showing comparisons in root distribution and ontogeny in novel Festulolium populations and closely related perennial ryegrass varieties. Food and Energy Security. 7 (e00145).

AuthorsHumphreys, M. W., Doonan, J. H., Boyle, R., Rodriguez, A. C., Marley, C. L., Williams, K., Farrell, M. S., Brook, J., Gasior, D., Loka, D., Collins, R. P., Marshall, A. H., Allen, D. K., Yadav, R. S., Dungait, J. A. J., Murray, P. J. and Harper, J. A.
Abstract

The incorporation of new sophisticated phenotyping technologies within a crop improvement program allows for a plant breeding strategy that can include selections
for major root traits previously inaccessible due to the challenges in their phenotype assessment. High-throughput precision phenotyping technology is employed to evaluate root ontogeny and progressive changes to root architecture of both novel amphiploid and introgression lines of Festulolium over four consecutive months of the growing season and these compared under the same time frame to that of closely
related perennial ryegrass (L. perenne) varieties. Root imaging using conventional photography and assembled multiple merged images was used to compare frequencies in root number, their distribution within 0–20 and 20–40 cm depths within soil columns, and progressive changes over time. The Festulolium hybrids had more extensive root systems in comparison with L. perenne, and this was especially evident
at depth. It was shown that the acquisition of extensive root systems in Festulolium hybrids was not dependent on the presence of an entire Festuca genome. On the contrary, the most pronounced effect on root development within the four Festulolium populations studied was observed in the introgression line Bx509, where a single small genome sequence from F. arundinacea had been previously transferred onto its homoeologous site on the long arm of chromosome 3 of an otherwise complete L. perenne genome. This demonstrates that a targeted introgression-breeding approach may be sufficient to confer a significant improvement in the root morphology in Lolium without a significant compromise to its genome integrity. The forage production of Bx509 was either higher (months 1–3) or equivalent to (month 4) that of
its L. perenne parent control demonstrating that the enhanced root development achieved by the introgression line was without compromise to its agronomic
performance.

Keywordsecosystem services; Festulolium; Lolium perenne; root ontogeny; root phenomics
Year of Publication2018
JournalFood and Energy Security
Journal citation7 (e00145)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/fes3.145
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeBB/L009889/1
BB/J004464/1
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Aug 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Jul 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherWiley
ISSN2048-3694

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