Semifield root phenotyping: Root traits for deep nitrate uptake

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Deep rooting winter wheat genotypes can reduce nitrate leaching losses and increase N uptake. We aimed to investigate which deep root traits are correlated to deep N uptake and to estimate genetic variation in root traits and deep 15N tracer uptake. In 2 years, winter wheat genotypes were grown in RadiMax, a semifield root-screening facility. Minirhizotron root imaging was performed three times during the main growing season. At anthesis, 15N was injected via subsurface drip irrigation at 1.8 m depth. Mature ears from above the injection area were analysed for 15N content. From minirhizotron image-based root length data, 82 traits were constructed, describing root depth, density, distribution and growth aspects. Their ability to predict 15N uptake was analysed with the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. Root traits predicted 24% and 14% of tracer uptake variation in 2 years. Both root traits and genotype showed significant effects on tracer uptake. In 2018, genotype and the three LASSO-selected root traits predicted 41% of the variation in tracer uptake, in 2019 genotype and one root trait predicted 48%. In both years, one root trait significantly mediated the genotype effect on tracer uptake. Deep root traits from minirhizotron images can predict deep N uptake, indicating the potential to breed deep-N-uptake-genotypes.
TidsskriftPlant, Cell and Environment
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)823-836
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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