Image_4_Improvement of Phosphorus Use Efficiency in Rice by Adopting Image-Based Phenotyping and Tolerant Indices.JPEG
Phosphorus is one of the second most important nutrients for plant growth and development, and its importance has been realised from its role in various chains of reactions leading to better crop dynamics accompanied by optimum yield. However, the injudicious use of phosphorus (P) and non-renewability across the globe severely limit the agricultural production of crops, such as rice. The development of P-efficient cultivar can be achieved by screening genotypes either by destructive or non-destructive approaches. Exploring image-based phenotyping (shoot and root) and tolerant indices in conjunction under low P conditions was the first report, the epicentre of this study. Eighteen genotypes were selected for hydroponic study from the soil-based screening of 68 genotypes to identify the traits through non-destructive (geometric traits by imaging) and destructive (morphology and physiology) techniques. Geometric traits such as minimum enclosing circle, convex hull, and calliper length show promising responses, in addition to morphological and physiological traits. In 28-day-old seedlings, leaves positioned from third to fifth played a crucial role in P mobilisation to different plant parts and maintained plant architecture under P deficient conditions. Besides, a reduction in leaf angle adjustment due to a decline in leaf biomass was observed. Concomitantly, these geometric traits facilitate the evaluation of low P-tolerant rice cultivars at an earlier stage, accompanying several stress indices. Out of which, Mean Productivity Index, Mean Relative Performance, and Relative Efficiency index utilising image-based traits displayed better responses in identifying tolerant genotypes under low P conditions. This study signifies the importance of image-based phenotyping techniques to identify potential donors and improve P use efficiency in modern rice breeding programs.