High throughput phenotyping of morpho-anatomical stem properties using X-ray computed tomography in sorghum

Plant Methods
Francisco E GomezWilliam L Rooney


In bioenergy/forage sorghum, morpho-anatomical stem properties are major components affecting standability and juice yield. However, phenotyping these traits is low-throughput, and has been restricted by the lack of a high-throughput phenotyping platforms that can collect both morphological and anatomical stem properties. X-ray computed tomography (CT) offers a potential solution, but studies using this technology in plants have evaluated limited numbers of genotypes with limited throughput. Here we suggest that using a medical CT might overcome sample size limitations when higher resolution is not needed. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop a practical high-throughput phenotyping and image data processing pipeline that extracts stem morpho-anatomical traits faster, more efficiently and on a larger number of samples. A medical CT was used to image morpho-anatomical stem properties in sorghum. The platform and image analysis pipeline revealed extensive phenotypic variation for important morpho-anatomical traits in well-characterized sorghum genotypes at suitable repeatability rates. CT estimates were highly predictive of morphological traits and moderately predictive of anatomical traits. The image analysis pipeline also ...Continue Reading


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