Non-destructive phenotyping for early seedling vigor in direct-seeded rice uri icon

abstract

  • Background Early seedling vigor is an essential trait of direct-seeded rice. It helps the seedlings to compete with weeds for water and nutrient availability, and contributes to better seedling establishment during the initial phase of crop growth. Seedling vigor is a complex trait, and phenotyping by a destructive method limits the improvement of this trait through traditional breeding. Hence, a non-invasive, rapid, and precise image-based phenotyping technique is developed to increase the possibility to improve early seedling vigor through breeding in rice and other field crops. Results To establish and assess the methodology using free-source software, early seedling vigor was estimated from images captured with a digital SLR camera in a non-destructive way. Here, the legitimacy and strength of the method have been proved through screening seven diverse rice cultivars varying for early seedling vigor. In the regression analysis, whole-plant area (WPA) estimated by destructive-flatbed scanner (WPAs) and non-destructive imaging (WPA(i)) approaches was strongly related (R-2 > 83%) and suggested that WPA(i)can be adapted in place of destructive methods to estimate seedling vigor. In addition, this study has identified a set of new geometric traits (convex hull and top view area) for screening breeding lines for early seedling vigor in rice, which decreased the time by 80% and halved the cost of labor in data observation. Conclusions The method demonstrated here is affordable and easy to establish as a phenotypic platform. It is suitable for most glasshouses/net houses for characterizing genotypes to understand the plasticity of shoots under a given environment at the seedling stage. The methodology explained in this experiment has been proven to be practical and suggested as a technique for researchers involved in direct-seeded rice. Consequently, it will help in the simultaneous screening of genotypes in large numbers, the identification of donors, and in gaining information on the genetic basis of the trait to design a breeding program for direct-seeded rice.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020