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Genetic control of nodal root angle in sorghum and its implications on water extraction

Singh, V., van Oosterom, E. J., Jordan, D. R. and Hammer, G. L. (2012) Genetic control of nodal root angle in sorghum and its implications on water extraction. European Journal of Agronomy, 42 . pp. 3-10. ISSN 1161-0301

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Article URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2012.04.006


Genotypic variability in root system architecture has been associated with root angle of seedlings and water extraction patterns of mature plants in a range of crops. The potential inclusion of root angle as a selection criterion in a sorghum breeding program requires (1) availability of an efficient screening method, (2) presence of genotypic variation with high heritability, and (3) an association with water extraction pattern. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility for inclusion of nodal root angle as a selection criterion in sorghum breeding programs. A high-throughput phenotypic screen for nodal root angle in young sorghum plants has recently been developed and has been used successfully to identify significant variation in nodal root angle across a diverse range of inbred lines and a mapping population. In both cases, heritabilities for nodal root angle were high. No association between nodal root angle and plant size was detected. This implies that parental inbred lines could potentially be used to asses nodal root angle of their hybrids, although such predictability is compromised by significant interactions. To study effects of nodal root angle on water extraction patterns of mature plants, four inbred lines with contrasting nodal root angle at seedling stage were grown until at least anthesis in large rhizotrons. A consistent trend was observed that nodal root angle may affect the spatial distribution of root mass of mature plants and hence their ability to extract soil water, although genotypic differences were not significant. The potential implications of this for specific adaptation to drought stress are discussed. Results suggest that nodal root angle of young plants can be a useful selection criterion for specific drought adaptation, and could potentially be used in molecular breeding programs if QTLs for root angle can be identified. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Breeding Drought adaptation Root angle Root system Water extraction grain-sorghum drought stress architectural traits limited environments system architecture genotypic variation use efficiency growth angle seminal root wheat
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Grain. Cereals
Science > Botany > Genetics
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:22 Oct 2013 03:19
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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