Decreasing luxury root respiration is a promising strategy for reducing plant metabolic costs for soil nutrient and water exploration, which would improve plant performance under abiotic stress. Root respiration has been considered in plant physiology studies, but has rarely been considered as a phene, or a unit of phenotype, for breeding or genetic mapping. We developed a high-throughput platform that integrates a hydroponics growth system, infrared gas analyzers, custom gas chambers, a bead bath, flatbed scanners, analytical scales, and an R script for measuring specific root respiration (SRR) on root length and mases bases. For validation of the platform, we selected 276 wheat lines from the TCAP Hard Winter Wheat Association Mapping Panel to uncover heritable variation of root respiration and other root phenes. Seeds were placed in darkness in a germination chamber for 3 days, transferred to custom hydroponics system in a growth chamber, and seedlings were harvested after 10 days for root respiration measurement. In brief, roots are severed from the shoot, placed immediately in a chamber, and CO2 accumulation measured for 90 seconds using a gas analyzer. These accumulation time-course data are saved as a directory of text files and imported by the R script to calculate total CO2 respiration. After scanning roots to measure length, they were dried for mass such that specific root respiration could be determined. The platform allowed a team of eight people to screen 560 plants in one day. We uncovered 4.7-fold variation and a heritability of 0.46 for SRR by length across all lines of the wheat population which confirms this platform facilitates high-throughput phenotyping of root respiration along with other important root traits. Genetic mapping of these traits will be reported, and effects on growth studied in silico. We propose this under-studied phene could have substantial impact on improving crops.