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A global non-invasive methodology for the phenotyping of potato under water deficit conditions using imaging, physiological and molecular tools

Abstract : Abstract Background Drought is a major consequence of global heating that has negative impacts on agriculture. Potato is a drought-sensitive crop; tuber growth and dry matter content may both be impacted. Moreover, water deficit can induce physiological disorders such as glassy tubers and internal rust spots. The response of potato plants to drought is complex and can be affected by cultivar type, climatic and soil conditions, and the point at which water stress occurs during growth. The characterization of adaptive responses in plants presents a major phenotyping challenge. There is therefore a demand for the development of non-invasive analytical techniques to improve phenotyping. Results This project aimed to take advantage of innovative approaches in MRI, phenotyping and molecular biology to evaluate the effects of water stress on potato plants during growth. Plants were cultivated in pots under different water conditions. A control group of plants were cultivated under optimal water uptake conditions. Other groups were cultivated under mild and severe water deficiency conditions (40 and 20% of field capacity, respectively) applied at different tuber growth phases (initiation, filling). Water stress was evaluated by monitoring soil water potential. Two fully-equipped imaging cabinets were set up to characterize plant morphology using high definition color cameras (top and side views) and to measure plant stress using RGB cameras. The response of potato plants to water stress depended on the intensity and duration of the stress. Three-dimensional morphological images of the underground organs of potato plants in pots were recorded using a 1.5 T MRI scanner. A significant difference in growth kinetics was observed at the early growth stages between the control and stressed plants. Quantitative PCR analysis was carried out at molecular level on the expression patterns of selected drought-responsive genes. Variations in stress levels were seen to modulate ABA and drought-responsive ABA-dependent and ABA-independent genes. Conclusions This methodology, when applied to the phenotyping of potato under water deficit conditions, provides a quantitative analysis of leaves and tubers properties at microstructural and molecular levels. The approaches thus developed could therefore be effective in the multi-scale characterization of plant response to water stress, from organ development to gene expression.
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Contributor : Maja Musse <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 12:20:07 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:44:09 PM

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Maja Musse, G. Hajjar, N. Ali, B. Billiot, G. Joly, et al.. A global non-invasive methodology for the phenotyping of potato under water deficit conditions using imaging, physiological and molecular tools. Plant Methods, BioMed Central, 2021, 17 (1), ⟨10.1186/s13007-021-00771-0⟩. ⟨hal-03313579⟩



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