751-4106-00L  Crop Phenotyping

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersA. Hund, H. Aasen, J. Leipner, F. Liebisch, A. Walter
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractPhenotyping is mostly understood as a non-invasive, quantitative assessment of plant and organ morphology at different wavelengths. In this course, standard and customized phenotyping platforms and approaches are introduced and applied to characterize crop performance in the field and in the lab. The relevance of phenotyping for breeding, field management and precision agriculture is shown.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course you will know a range of different phenotyping methods and how to assess their utility for different issues. You also know the critical stages of individual crops and you can identify promising traits and phenotyping approaches that are appropriate to improve a crop or its management in the field.
ContentBasic knowledge in physiology, breeding and management of our major crops will be combined with concepts of inheritance, experimental design, crop modelling and abiotic stress. By lectures, discussions, and hands-on experiments, you will learn to use image-based phenotyping methods for a performance assessment of genotypes of a breeding population and to assess the efficiency of measures of field management.
Crops are exposed to different abiotic stress factors during their development. Adaptation of crops to extreme environmental conditions likely to be encountered in the course of the year (e.g. cold and heat stress; water-saturated or dry soils) has been achieved by plant breeding to a good extent. In many cases, however, there is enormous potential for optimization.
The most important mechanisms of plant adjustment towards stress will be explained, as well as critical stages identified in which stress affects yield most severely. You will learn methods by which the response of plants to environmental parameters is quantified non-destructively. You learn how to deal with the challenge of spatial variability in the field, when it is necessary to analyze a lot of genotypes. You will get to know different phenotyping methods in the field and under controlled conditions. An important parameter of analysis will be the measurement of the growth of roots and shoots and the response of this parameter to environmental stress. Moreover, you will apply thermography and multispectral image analysis as exemplary remote sensing methods and you will use these methods to calculate parameters such as canopy cover, water status and leaf greenness of individual plants or crop stands. Also, you will learn the use of chlorophyll fluorescence to assess the efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus.