Phenotypic variation and modelling of root structure of wild Lupinus angustifolius genotypes


Chen, Y.; Dunbabin, V.; Postma, J.; Diggle, A.; Lynch, J.P.; Siddique, K.; Rengel, Z.


Plant and Soil (2011) 348: 345-364

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The plasticity of root growth in response to the edaphic environment challenges the quantification of phenotypic variation in crop germplasm. In this study, 10 wild genotypes of Lupinus angustifolius were selected from an earlier hydroponic phenotyping study (111 genotypes). Using three different growth systems—hydroponic phenotyping system, potting-mix filled pot, and river-sand filled pot—the aim of this smaller study was to identify how robust the earlier phenotyping study was by verifying phenotypic variation between the larger and smaller study, and between different growth systems. Phenotypic variation in root traits, shoot morphological characters, anthesis, foliar properties, physiological traits (N, P, C/N ratio), seed yield, and correlations among these parameters, were examined. Major root-trait data collected in the smaller hydroponic growth system were strongly correlated with those from the earlier phenotyping trial (P?0.05). Plants grown in the two soils were significantly correlated in some of the measured parameters. Relationships among the complex parameters were also observed between each growth system. These results demonstrate that phenotypic variation in root traits and morphological parameters among the tested genotypes are genetically based and often correlated. Principal component analysis performed on each set of data captured >87% of total variability in three (hydroponics) or four (soil) principal components. The 10 genotypes were grouped into five clusters for each growth media, but cluster composition varied between media. Our results found genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity in some traits among tested wild genotypes. The capacity for the larger phenotyping system to provide input parameters for two root architectural models, ROOTMAP and SimRoot, was assessed. Both models closely reproduced root architectural data collected from the experimental phenotyping system. This indicates that the root architectural input parameters were of sufficient quality for the root models to reproduce root architecture of a diverse range of lupin genotypes. By linking with available molecular genome findings and root model simulation, this study has potential to accelerate the breeding program for domesticating commercial cultivars of L. angustifolius from the wild germplasm collection.