Senior Laboratory Technician Donald Danforth Plant Science
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Setaria viridis is a C4 grass closely related to many major food crops including maize, sorghum, and sugar cane, used as model plant to study these crops, as well as other C4 grasses. This study investigated the phenotypic responses of S. viridis to high and low temperatures and different levels of light intensity during S. viridis growth. Raspberry Pi cameras installed in growth chambers captured side view images every hour during the S. viridis life cycle. Side view images were analyzed using PlantCV to measure growth rate and compared to manual measurements of aerial biomass. Growth rate from image analysis and total biomass from manual measurements showed similar trends. S. viridis plants grown at 36°C have significantly more biomass per plant than plants grown at 22°C or 31°C. However, the panicles of plants grown at 36°C produce fewer seeds, significantly reducing the plant yield. Light intensity had a significant effect on plant biomass, with plants grown at 450 μmol/m2/s producing significantly more biomass than plants grown at 150 or 250 μmol/m2/s under all three temperature tested. At 250 μmol/m2/s biomass is only significantly lower at 22°C, while there is no significant variation in biomass at 150 at μmol/m2/s.