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JPSS Jülich Plant Science Seminar Series:
Dr. Vincent Cochois, Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia

02.12.2014 10:30 Uhr
02.12.2014 11:30 Uhr
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Gebäude 06.2 IBG-2, Seminarraum 406, 2.Stock

" Brachypodium distachyon: a useful model for root research in cereals"

Dr. Vincent Cochois


We have developed the model grass Brachypodium distachyon to overcome the phenotyping difficulties associated with adult plant root traits in cereals. Seedling root systems enable plant establishment and their small phenotypes are measured routinely.
Adult root systems are relevant to yield size and efficiency, but phenotyping is challenging. Length rapidly exceeds most pots. Field studies measure partial adult root systems through coring or trenching, or use intact seedling roots as adult surrogates. We now routinely use three new techniques to phenotype Brachypodium root systems rapidly, through to flowering and seed development.
We have identified highly heritable variation among natural accessions in root architecture traits, both in non-limiting or droughted conditions. These traits are novel because they are associated with whole plant partitioning among seed and stem tissues likely to have different functions for water and nutrient uptake. We are now combining these phenotyping data with the vast genotypic information available for Brachypodium using direct sequencing to unravel the genetic regulation of root growth and architecture, and transfer to cereals such as wheat to speed up gene-based breeding.

In future, we see wide potential in extending Brachypodium’s use into functional studies, to understand how adult cereal root systems take up water, nutrients and interact with soil conditions as it is readily amenable to study using non-invasive systems in pots of real soil.

Contact:  R.Metzner