High-throughput 3D modelling to dissect the genetic control of leaf elongation in barley (Hordeum vulgare\n)

Ben Ward, Chris Brien, Helena Oakey, Allison Pearson, Sónia Negrão, Rhiannon K. Schilling, Julian Taylor, David Erwin Jarvis, Andy Timmins, Stuart J. Roy, Mark A. Tester, Bettina Berger, Anton van den Hengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To optimize shoot growth and structure of cereals, we need to understand the genetic components controlling initiation and elongation. While measuring total shoot growth at high-throughput using 2D imaging has progressed, recovering the 3D shoot structure of small grain cereals at a large scale is still challenging. Here, we present a method for measuring defined individual leaves of cereals, such as wheat and barley, using few images. Plant shoot modelling over time was used to measure the initiation and elongation of leaves in a bi-parental barley mapping population under low and high soil salinity. We detected quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to shoot growth per se, using both simple 2D total shoot measurements and our approach of measuring individual leaves. In addition, we detected QTL specific to leaf elongation and not to total shoot size. Of particular importance was the detection of a QTL on Chromosome 3H specific to the early responses of leaf elongation to salt stress, a locus that could not be detected without the computer vision tools developed in this study. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-570
Number of pages16
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 22 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by Australian Research Council(ARC) under LinkageProjectLP110200971and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) under project UA00145. MT,SN and DJ thank King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST) for financial support. We thank the team at The Plant Accelerator®,as well as Christine Trittermann and Laura Short from the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomicsfor theirsupport in running the phenotypic experiments. We thank Prof. Diane Mather, Dr Stewart Coventryand Allan Binney from the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, for providing the barley mapping population and DNA extracts. Prof Geoff Fincher and Dr Neil Shirley, ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Cell Wall Research, provided information on the expansin gene family in barley. The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility is supported under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)of the Australian Government. The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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