Presentation_1_Neural Net Classification Combined With Movement Analysis to Evaluate Setaria viridis as a Model System for Time of Day of Anther Appearance.PDF

In many plant species, the time of day at which flowers open to permit pollination is tightly regulated. Proper time of flower opening, or Time of Day of Anther Appearance (TAA), may coordinate flowering opening with pollinator activity or may shift temperature sensitive developmental processes to cooler times of the day. The genetic mechanisms that regulate the timing of this process in cereal crops are unknown. To address this knowledge gap, it is necessary to establish a monocot model system that exhibits variation in TAA. Here, we examine the suitability of Setaria viridis, the model for C4 photosynthesis, for such a role. We developed an imaging system to monitor the temporal regulation of growth, flower opening time, and other physiological characteristics in Setaria. This system enabled us to compare Setaria varieties Ames 32254, Ames 32276, and PI 669942 variation in growth and daily flower opening time. We observed that TAA occurs primarily at night in these three Setaria accessions. However, significant variation between the accessions was observed for both the ratio of flowers that open in the day vs. night and the specific time of day where the rate is maximal. Characterizing this physiological variation is a requisite step toward uncovering the molecular mechanisms regulating TAA. Leveraging the regulation of TAA could provide researchers with a genetic tool to improve crop productivity in new environments.