A Potential Plant Phenotyping Method for Sustainable Agriculture under a Changing Climate

Proceedings of The 3rd World Conference on Climate Change and Global Warming

Year: 2023



A Potential Plant Phenotyping Method for Sustainable Agriculture under a Changing Climate

Imre Cseresnyés, Klára Pokovai, Zoltán Barcza, Nándor Fodor




A great challenge in sustainable agriculture is to select crop genotypes with improved responsiveness to future climate conditions. The free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment systems are suitable facilities for this purpose, but their high installation and maintenance costs and the small surface area usually preclude using destructive plant (especially root) investigation methods and soil disturbance. As a solution, here we offer an advanced, field-adapted root electrical capacitance method tested in different winter wheat cultivars in a multi-year study. We provide evidences that this non-destructive approach has potential to: (a) reveal the seasonal dynamics of root development and uptake activity (related to leaf area index an in turn to transpiration) during the crop growth cycle; (b) to follow the response of various wheat cultivars to an elevated (600 ppm) atmospheric CO2 concentration and to different nitrogen supply rates during years with contrasting rainfall conditions; and (c) to give a reasonable prediction of grain yield on the basis of capacitance measurement formerly taken at the flowering stage. Our findings demonstrate that root electrical capacitance measurement is a promising alternative for rapid whole-plant phenotyping. It can be considered as a high-throughput diagnostic tool in sustainable agriculture, which contributes to more efficient breeding programs targeted the identification of crop varieties having higher physiological plasticity and responsiveness to changing climate, such as rising [CO2], global warming and rainfall anomalies. The project was funded by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (NKFIH; FK-137617), and the Hungarian Government (GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00028).

keywords: crop breeding, elevated CO2, grain yield prediction, root electrical capacitance, in situ root methods