Presentation on theme: "Notes for teachers This presentation has been designed to complement the information provided in the Plant Phenomics Teacher Resource. Some of the slides."— Presentation transcript:
2Plant phenomics Notes for teachers Phenomics is essentially a way of speeding up phenotyping using high-tech imaging systems and computing power.The next slide contains background information about genotypes, phenotypes and phenotyping.
3Some background information A plant’s genotype is all of its genes.A plant’s phenotype is how it looks and performs:a plant’s phenotype is a combination of its genotype and the environment it grows inplants with the same genotype can have different phenotypes.Phenotyping is analysing a plant’s phenotype.Phenomics is a way of speeding up phenotyping using high-tech imaging systems and computing power.
4Why is plant phenomics important? By 2050, 9.1 billion people will populate the planet.We will need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed them, under tougher climate conditions.This is one of humanity’s greatest challenges.How can we do it?Three of the possible ways to help:Improve crop yieldsBreed crops that can cope with climate changeDevelop biofuel crops that don’t compete with food crops.Notes for teachersSome Australian research projects are outlined after the technology section.
5What does plant phenomics involve? Phenomics borrows imaging techniques from medicine to allow researchers to study the inner workings of leaves, roots or whole plants.Some phenomics techniques are:• 3D imaging• infrared and near-infrared imaging• fluorescence imaging• magnetic resonance imagingspectral reflectance.Notes for teachersThese phenomics techniques are explained in the following slides. The image shows a 3D computer-generated image of a cotton plant.
6Three-dimensional (3D) imaging Digital photos of the top and sides of plants are combined into a 3D image.Measurements that can be taken using a 3D image include:• shoot mass• leaf number, shape and angle• leaf colour• leaf health.
7Three-dimensional (3D) imaging Pots of plants move on a conveyor belt through an imaging chamber.The 3D models are automatically generated by a computer program.Notes for teachersThe PlantScan system shown is currently under construction. Plants will be monitored non-destructively over time, allowing growth to be measured at different ages.The system will be able to handle plants up to 2.0m in height and 1.5m in width.A double conveyor-belt system is manually loaded with plants held in position on pot carriers, and the pots are then accurately positioned for imaging. A rotating/lifting device allows the plant to be screened from all sides.
8Three-dimensional (3D) imaging Notes for teachersOnce data has been obtained, the computer models can be used to determine features such as overall plant size and height, leaf growth over time, orientation of leaf surfaces, leaf angles and number of leaves.A cotton plant prepared for imaging (above), and 3D models (right)Jurgen Fripp CSIRO ICT E-Health Brisbane
9Far infrared (FIR) imaging FIR cameras are used to study temperature.They use light in the FIR region of the spectrum (15–1000 μm).Temperature differences can be used to study:salinity tolerancewater usagephotosynthesis efficiency.Notes for teachers:The image shows a researcher holding a special sheet used to calibrate the infrared sensors on the imaging system.
10Far infrared (FIR) imaging Cooler plants have better root systems and take up more water.FIR imaging can be used for individual plants or for whole crops.
11Near infrared (NIR) imaging Near-infrared (NIR) cameras study water content and movement in leaves and soil.They use light in the NIR region of the spectrum (900–1550 μm)Plants are grown in clear pots so roots can be photographed while the plant is growing.Soil NIR measurements are used to calculate:how much water the roots remove from the soilwhere and how much water the plant is using.
12Fluorescence imagingFluorescence imaging is used to study plant health and photosynthesis.Fluorescence occurs when an object absorbs light of one wavelength and gives off light of a different wavelength.Chlorophyll fluorescence is used to study the effect of different genes or environmental conditions on the efficiency of photosynthesis.Notes for teachersThe ‘FluorCam’ system shines blue light on young seedlings. A computer program then converts the resulting fluorescence into false-colour signals to allow instant analysis of plant health.
13Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to study plant roots.MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take images of roots in the same way as for imaging body organs in medicine.MRI allows the 3D geometry of roots to be viewed just as if the plant was growing in the soil.Notes for teachersThis MRI image shows the effect of temperature on root growth. Both the growth rate and formation of lateral roots are affected at the lower temperature.
14Spectral reflectanceSpectral reflectance is the fraction of light reflected by a non-transparent surface.Researchers can use spectral reflectance to tell if a plant is stressed by saline soil or drought, well before it can be seen by eye.Notes for teachers:In the visible region of the spectrum, healthy green plants have similar spectral signatures to stressed plants.In the near-infrared region, healthy and stressed plants have different spectral signatures.
15Plant phenomics in the field Phenomics remote sensing technology allows researchers to study plants in the field.Measurements can be taken on many plants at once, and over a whole growing seasonSome examples of phenomics field technology are:Phenonet sensor networkPhenomobilePhenotowerBlimpNotes for teachersEach example of phenomics field technology is described in the following slides. The image shows the phenomobile travelling through the field, and the blimp above the field.
16Phenonet sensor network A network of data loggers collects information from a field of crops and sends it through the mobile phone network back to researchers at the lab.Sensors include:far infrared thermometerweather stationsoil moisture sensorthermistor (soil temperature)Notes for teachers:Sensors remotely monitor plant performance as the environment changes throughout the season.
17PhenomobileThe phenomobile is a modified golf buggy that moves through a field of plants, taking measurements from three rows of plants at the same time.
18Phenomobile The phenomobile carries equipment to measure: leaf greenness and ground covercanopy temperaturevolume (biomass) of plants, plant height and plant densitycrop chemical composition.FOVα
19PhenotowerThe phenotower is a cherry picker used to take images of crops 15 m above the ground.Notes for teachers:The top smaller image show the field under visible light, and the bottom is taken using an infrared camera.
20BlimpThe blimp can take images of whole fields from 30 to 100 m above the ground. This allows many plants to be measured at the same time-point.Notes to teachers:Researchers attach a video camera to the blimp (left). The blimp is held in place by a rope (right).
21Where is plant phenomics research done in Australia? The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility has two nodes:Canberra: High Resolution Plant Phenomics CentreAdelaide: The Plant Accelerator
22High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre The Centre’s researchers develop new ways to discover the function of genes and to screen plant varieties for useful agricultural traits.Researchers can grow plants in growth cabinets or in the field.
23Plant AcceleratorA high-tech glasshouse contains plant conveyor systems, and imaging, robotic and computing equipment.Notes for teachers:Using automated systems like these, researchers can screen thousands of plants in a short time.
24Research: Improving crop yields Yearly crop yield gains have slowed to the point of stagnation.Population growth + lack of suitable land + competition from biofuel crops + fertiliser costs + lack of water + climate change = potential global food crisis.Phenomics projects:‘Supercharging’ photosynthesisImproving wheat yieldBrachypodium – the cereal ‘lab rat’Notes to teachers:The image shows experimental plots of wheat and corn plants. Breeding higher-yielding crops such as these is an important goal for plant researchers.Image credit: CSIRO Plant Industry
25‘Supercharging’ photosynthesis Plants have two major photosynthetic mechanisms: C3 and C4. Phenomics researchers want to replace the C3 pathway of rice with a more efficient C4 mechanism.C4 plants can concentrate carbon dioxide inside the leaf, and photosynthesise more efficiently than C3 plants, especially under:higher temperaturesdrought conditionslimited nitrogen supplies.Notes for teachers:In C3 plants such as rice (top), the leaf mesophyll cells (red) take up carbon dioxide and also fix carbon during photosynthesis.In C4 plants such as maize (bottom), the leaf mesophyll cells (red) pump carbon dioxide into specialised bundle-sheath cells (yellow and red), where carbon is later fixed during photosynthesis.
26Improving wheat yieldA major limiting factor in photosynthetic performance is the inefficiency of the enzyme Rubisco.Some plants have better Rubiscos than others.Phenomics researchers are searching through thousands of wheat varieties for those:with a better-performing Rubisco and higher rates of photosynthesisthat can grow well under nutrient deficiency, drought and salinity.Notes for teachers:The image shows salt-tolerant durum wheat.Image credit: CSIRO Plant Industry
27Brachypodium – the cereal ‘lab rat’ Phenomics researchers are using a small wild grass called Brachypodium distachyon as a wheat ‘lab rat’.Its entire genome is knownIt has many genes in common with wheat.Researchers are studying root formation in Brachypodium to speed up understanding of wheat roots.Notes to teachers:Brachypodium is a ‘model’ cereal plant. ‘Model’ plants that grow faster and have all their genetic information available make it easier to understand the genes responsible for growth and yield in food crops.The image shows a hand-held infrared sensor being used to reveal the temperature of the Brachypodium seedlings.
28Research: Crops to cope with climate change Climate change is predicted to make crop growing conditions tougher in the future.Phenomics researchers are developing:• drought-tolerant wheat• salt-tolerant wheat and barley.Notes to teachers:The image shows a drought and salinity-affected landscape.Image credit: Willem van Aken, CSIRO
29Drought-tolerant wheat Crops use different amounts of water at different growth stages and under different environmental conditions.To breed drought-tolerant wheat, researchers have to study performance in the field over a whole growing season.Phenomics remote sensing technology can measure:if plants are stressed by drought conditionscanopy temperatureweather and soil data.Notes for teachers:The image shows the Phenonet’s system of sensors in an experimental plot.
30Salt-tolerant wheat and barley CSIRO researchers are screening wheat and barley growing in saline conditions for salt-tolerant varieties.Plants grown in salty soil close their stomata to reduce water loss. This:slows photosynthesis and reduces yieldheats the leaves.Infrared cameras can quickly identify which plants are cooler, and are keeping their stomata open.Plant grown in salty soil (warmer)Plant grown in normal soil (cooler)
31Research: Non-food crop biofuels Biofuels are often produced using food crops such as corn and soybeans.Researchers are trialling non- food plants to produce biofuels. These crops will need to:grow on less productive land ‘marginal’ landtolerate stresses, such as low water availability, salinity or low nutrient supplies.Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is showing promise as a biofuel feedstock.Notes for teachers:Phenomics researchers are using the model plant, Brachypodium distachyon, to speed up the process of breeding switchgrass for biofuel production.