PeerJ. 2023 Aug 29;11:e15972. doi: 10.7717/peerj.15972. eCollection 2023.
BACKGROUND: Phosphorus nutrition is important for obtaining high yields of crop plants. However, wheat plants are known to be almost incapable of taking up phosphorus from insoluble phosphate sources, and reduced height genes are supposed to decrease this ability further.
METHODS: We performed a pot experiment using Triticum durum Desf. tall spring variety LD222, its near-isogenic semidwarf line carrying Rht17 (Reduced height 17) gene, and winter rye (Secale cereale L.) variety Chulpan. The individual plants were grown in quartz sand. The phosphorus was provided either as phosphate rock powder mixed with sand, or as monopotassium phosphate solution (normal nutrition control) or was not supplemented at all (no-phosphorus control). Other nutrients were provided in soluble form. During experiment the plants were assessed using the TraitFinder (Phenospex Ltd., Heerlen, Netherlands) digital phenotyping system for a standard set of parameters. Double scan with 90 degrees turns of pots around vertical axis vs. single scan were compared for accuracy of phenotyping.
RESULTS: The phenotyping showed that at least 20 days of growth after seedling emergence were necessary to get stable differences between genotypes. After this initial period, phenotyping confirmed poor ability of wheat to grow on substrate with phosphate rock as the only source of phosphorus compared to rye; however, Rht17 did not cause an additional reduction in growth parameters other than plant height under this variant of substrate. The agreement between digital phenotyping and conventionally measured traits was at previously reported level for grasses (R2 = 0.85 and 0.88 for digital biomass and 3D leaf area vs. conventionally measured biomass and leaf area, single scan). Among vegetation indices, only the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) and the green leaf index (GLI) showed significant correlations with manually measured traits, including the percentage of dead leaves area. The double scan improved phenotyping accuracy, but not substantially.