Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Measuring the diurnal pattern of leaf hyponasty and growth in Arabidopsis – a novel phenotyping approach using laser scanning

Tino Dornbusch A C , Séverine Lorrain A , Dmitry Kuznetsov B , Arnaud Fortier B , Robin Liechti B , Ioannis Xenarios B and Christian Fankhauser A C

A Center for Integrative Genomics, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.

B SIB-Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.

C Corresponding authors. Email: christian.fankhauser@unil.ch; tino.dornbusch@unil.ch

Functional Plant Biology 39(11) 860-869 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP12018
Submitted: 20 January 2012  Accepted: 15 May 2012   Published: 1 August 2012

Abstract

Plants forming a rosette during their juvenile growth phase, such as Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., are able to adjust the size, position and orientation of their leaves. These growth responses are under the control of the plants circadian clock and follow a characteristic diurnal rhythm. For instance, increased leaf elongation and hyponasty – defined here as the increase in leaf elevation angle – can be observed when plants are shaded. Shading can either be caused by a decrease in the fluence rate of photosynthetically active radiation (direct shade) or a decrease in the fluence rate of red compared with far-red radiation (neighbour detection). In this paper we report on a phenotyping approach based on laser scanning to measure the diurnal pattern of leaf hyponasty and increase in rosette size. In short days, leaves showed constitutively increased leaf elevation angles compared with long days, but the overall diurnal pattern and the magnitude of up and downward leaf movement was independent of daylength. Shade treatment led to elevated leaf angles during the first day of application, but did not affect the magnitude of up and downward leaf movement in the following day. Using our phenotyping device, individual plants can be non-invasively monitored during several days under different light conditions. Hence, it represents a proper tool to phenotype light- and circadian clock-mediated growth responses in order to better understand the underlying regulatory genetic network.

Additional keywords: Arabidopsis, circadian clock, diurnal, hyponasty, image processing, laser scanning, leaf elongation, petiole angle, phenotyping.


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