Recent Posts

Review: Crop breeding technologies to feed the world (Nature Biotech)

The world demands food, plant scientists and breeders have the challenge of feeding a growing population. In a recent review Hickey et al. summarize the state-of-the-art technologies used for crop improvement. In use since 2003, ‘speed breeding’ is a set of improved methods for fast-tracking plant…

Three-dimensional time-lapse analysis of maize root system archictecture (Plant Cell)

Root system architecture (RSA) profoundly affects plant nutritent uptake and response to drought, and is also famously extremely developmental plastic, which makes it difficult to identify genes that control root growth traits. Here, Jiang et al. analyzed 3D growth patterns over time of three maize lines…

GRANAR, a new computational tool to better understand the functional importance of root anatomy (bioRxiv)

Uptake of water by plants depends on root conductivity, which in turn is determined by hydraulic properties of individual cells and cell anatomy. Quantification of radial root anatomy is a time-consuming process, limiting our understanding of root anatomical features contributing to water uptake. Heymans…

A diversity of traits contributes to salinity tolerance of wild Galapagos tomatoes seedlings (bioRxiv)

Domestication has been accompanied by a decrease in genetic diversity, so efforts to improve stress tolerance can be aided by exploring the crop’s wild relatives. Here, Pailles et al. examined salt tolerance in Galapagos tomatoes (Solanum cheesmaniae and Solanum galapagense), which grow “constantly…

Distinct characteristics of genes associated with phenome-wide variation in maize (Zea mays) (bioRxiv)

High-throughput plant phenotyping is growing rapidly and enables the collection of dozens or hundreds of traits of the same plant genotype efficiently. The development of this technology expands the diversity of plant phenotypes and brings an opportunity for reexamining the connections between genotype…

Review: Deep learning on image-based plant phenotyping (Trends Plant Sci)

The development of deep learning brings opportunities to train computers to solve complex questions. Self-driving vehicles are classic examples of an application of deep learning in the real world. However, the large amounts of data that are required for building accurate models and avoiding overfitting…

Special Issue: Genome to Phenome (Plant Journal)

It’s January, which seems to be a month of weather extremes for many “temperate” parts of the globe. Here’s an excellent collection to curl up with as you try to stay warm or cool and out of the elements. The issue includes free-to-access reviews focused on using genomic data (e.g., genome-wide…

Review: How to analyse plant phenotypic plasticity in response to a changing climate

Phenotypic plasticity, or the ability to change in response to the environment, is one of the most characteristic (and to me, endearing) qualities of plants. As Arnold et al. observe, it is also one of the most important in terms of future climate change; phenotypic plasticity will mean the difference…

Transforming Pixels to Millimeters: Geometric Camera Calibration

About This Seminar The affordability and ubiquity of cameras have led to their increasing use in many disciplines. In plant phenomics, it is common to see experimental data based on image-derived measurements. This seminar will explain geometric camera calibration, whereby pixel measurements are mapped…