Plant Methods is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal for the plant research community that encompasses all aspects of technological innovation in the plant sciences.
- Brian G Forde, Lancaster University
3D imaging root architecture in soil has always been a challenge. In this paper the authors directly compare, using the same pot-grown plants, two of the rival technologies for imaging roots in soil. They compare and contrast the results and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using the two approaches, either individually or in conjunction.
The authors present their historical perspective on plant phenotyping, beginning with the coining of the terms phenotype and genotype over 100 years ago by the Danish plant scientist Wilhelm Johannsen. They go on to discuss how phenotyping techniques have evolved, explaining the general concepts in detail and pointing to specialized papers for further reading. This review will be of particular value as an introduction to phenotyping for those new to the field.
Water availability is a major limiting factor for crop production in rain-fed agriculture, but breeding for drought tolerance through improved root architecture has been hindered by a lack of suitable phenotyping methods. The authors describe two high-throughput methods for wheat seedlings, using either clear pots or growth pouches, that can be used to assess specific traits associated with rooting depth (and potentially drought tolerance) of mature plants.
Brian G. Forde is currently Professor of Environmental Plant Biotechnology at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, in the UK.
“We launched Plant Methods in 2005 with the aim of providing a high-profile, open access platform that would help to stimulate the development and dissemination of novel techniques and research tools in plant biology.
By the end of 2013 we had published over 270 papers, which have now collectively been cited over 2500 times. Remarkably, the 100 most accessed of these have been viewed online a total of more than 1.5 million times - most visits coming from the US, but with India and China close behind in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
These figures are encouraging evidence that Plant Methods is achieving its goals of providing international impact for our authors and open access for the plant science community to a diverse and ever-expanding range of innovative techniques and resources. To keep up to date with what Plant Methods is publishing - and other news - why not sign up to our Twitter feed using the link below?”
Brian G. Forde
A simple and efficient method for genetic crossing in Medicago truncatula
Plant Methods 2014, 10:11