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Oral: Promising Phenotyping Efforts for Understanding Genetic and Molecular Bases of Plant Disease Resistance


Field-based high-throughput phenotyping for evaluation of barely yellow dwarf resistance in wheat breeding.
J. POLAND (1), X. Wang (2), D. Rotenberg (2), A. Laney (2), A. Whitfield (2), M. Ramos (2), A. Fritz (2) (1) Kansas State University, U.S.A.; (2) Kansas State University, U.S.A.

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Rapid and precise assessment of large populations is at the heart of genetic gain plant breeding and statistical power in quantitative genetics. While, the development of next-generation sequencing has enabled a genomics revolution in the world of plant breeding and genetics, the current approaches to collecting phenotypic have seen little advancement over the last century. The development of high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) approaches have the potential to transform the breeding process and accelerate genetic gain. With this vision, we have developed and deployed ground-based HTP platforms and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with a range of sensors and cameras to monitor plant growth and development during the field season. To test these platforms for assessing disease resistance, we evaluated 70 elite breeding lines from the KSU wheat breeding program in 6 reps early planted to attract the aphid vectors of barley yellow dwarf (BYD). Enabled by HTP, a ‘case-control’ approach was taken with 3 reps insecticide treated to prevent aphid-vectored infection of BYD and 3 reps left untreated. Throughout the growing season we were able to precisely quantify plant stunting, reduced vegetation index and loss of biomass and projected grain yield via the HTP platforms. The implementation of HTP can give breeders the possibility to rethinking current approaches to field-based breeding and open new avenues to rapid development of new, superior performing varieties.