DOI: 10.1101/505321Dec 23, 2018Paper

Digital imaging to evaluate root system architectural changes associated with soil biotic factors

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Chakradhar MattupalliCarolyn A Young


Root system architecture (RSA) is critical for plant growth, which is influenced by several edaphic, environmental, genetic and biotic factors including beneficial and pathogenic microbes. Studying root architecture and the dynamic changes that occur during a plant's lifespan, especially for perennial crops growing over multiple growing seasons, is still a challenge because of the nature of their growing environment in soil. We describe the utility of an imaging platform called RhizoVision Crown to study RSA of alfalfa, a perennial forage crop affected by Phymatotrichopsis Root Rot (PRR) disease. Phymatotrichopsis omnivora is the causal agent of PRR disease that reduces alfalfa stand longevity. During the lifetime of the stand, PRR disease rings enlarge and the field can be categorized into three zones based upon plant status: asymptomatic, disease front and survivor. To study root architectural changes associated with PRR, a four-year old 25.6-hectare alfalfa stand infested with PRR was selected at the Red River Farm, Burneyville, OK during October 2017. Line transect sampling was conducted from four actively growing PRR disease rings. At each disease ring, six line transects were positioned spanning 15 m on either side of the...Continue Reading

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