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

Moderate to severe water limitation differentially affects the phenome and ionome of Arabidopsis

Lucia M. Acosta-Gamboa A , Suxing Liu A , Erin Langley A , Zachary Campbell A , Norma Castro-Guerrero B , David Mendoza-Cozatl B D and Argelia Lorence A C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Arkansas Biosciences Institute, Arkansas State University, PO Box 639, State University, AR 72467, USA.

B Division of Plant Sciences, Christopher S Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri, 1201 Rollins Street, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.

C Department of Chemistry and Physics, Arkansas State University, PO Box 429, State University, AR 72467, USA.

D Corresponding authors. Emails: alorence@astate.edu; mendozacozatld@missouri.edu

Functional Plant Biology 44(1) 94-106 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP16172
Submitted: 6 May 2016  Accepted: 5 September 2016   Published: 20 October 2016

Abstract

Food security is currently one of the major challenges that we are facing as a species. Understanding plant responses and adaptations to limited water availability is key to maintain or improve crop yield, and this is even more critical considering the different projections of climate change. In this work, we combined two high-throughput -‘omic’ platforms (‘phenomics’ and ‘ionomics’) to begin dissecting time-dependent effects of water limitation in Arabidopsis leaves and ultimately seed yield. As proof of concept, we acquired high-resolution images with visible, fluorescence, and near infrared cameras and used commercial and open source algorithms to extract the information contained in those images. At a defined point, samples were also taken for elemental profiling. Our results show that growth, biomass and photosynthetic efficiency were affected mostly under severe water limitation regimes and these differences were exacerbated at later developmental stages. The elemental composition and seed yield, however, changed across the different water regimes tested and these changes included under- and over- accumulation of elements compared with well-watered plants. Our results demonstrate that the combination of phenotyping techniques can be successfully used to identify specific bottlenecks during plant development that could compromise biomass, yield, and the nutritional quality of plants.

Additional keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, drought stress, high-throughput plant phenotyping,  ionomics, phenomics.


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