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      High-throughput estimation of incident light, light interception and radiation-use efficiency of thousands of plants in a phenotyping platform.

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          Abstract

          Light interception and radiation-use efficiency (RUE) are essential components of plant performance. Their genetic dissections require novel high-throughput phenotyping methods. We have developed a suite of methods to evaluate the spatial distribution of incident light, as experienced by hundreds of plants in a glasshouse, by simulating sunbeam trajectories through glasshouse structures every day of the year; the amount of light intercepted by maize (Zea mays) plants via a functional-structural model using three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of each plant placed in a virtual scene reproducing the canopy in the glasshouse; and RUE, as the ratio of plant biomass to intercepted light. The spatial variation of direct and diffuse incident light in the glasshouse (up to 24%) was correctly predicted at the single-plant scale. Light interception largely varied between maize lines that differed in leaf angles (nearly stable between experiments) and area (highly variable between experiments). Estimated RUEs varied between maize lines, but were similar in two experiments with contrasting incident light. They closely correlated with measured gas exchanges. The methods proposed here identified reproducible traits that might be used in further field studies, thereby opening up the way for large-scale genetic analyses of the components of plant performance.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          New Phytol.
          The New phytologist
          Wiley-Blackwell
          1469-8137
          0028-646X
          Oct 2016
          : 212
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] UMR LEPSE, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, F-34060, Montpellier, France.
          Article
          10.1111/nph.14027
          27258481

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