Principal Investigator Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Plant Direct
Plant growth and water use are interrelated processes influenced by the genetic control of both plant morphological and biochemical characteristics. Improving plant water use efficiency (WUE) to sustain growth in different environments is an important breeding objective that can improve crop yields and enhance agricultural sustainability. To identify loci controlling physiological and biochemical processes underlying water use-efficiency we utilized a high-throughput phenotyping platform study populations of the C4 model species Setaria viridis. In addition to traits derived from daily imaging and watering information, we analyzed root, stomata, and isotope discrimination trait. Across 5 different experiments, we analyzed >5000 plants, and conducted 2016 separate genome wide association analyses. We identified loci with temporal effects on physiological traits such as height, biomass and water use efficiency. These loci allow us to identify candidate genes for improvement of C4 grasses.