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Identifying diversity for drought stress tolerance in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) with digital and high-resolution physiological phenotyping

Lennart Scheer

Associated student, JLU

Drought stress is one of the most crucial abiotic stress factors threatening the worldwide cultivation of faba beans. Breeding for drought stress tolerant genotypes is therefore growing in importance under increasing temperatures and longer drought periods due to climate change. Connecting precise phenotypic and plant performance data obtained under relevant drought stress conditions with genetic, metabolic, morphological, physiological and environmental data is an important step to identify future target traits for efficiency field selection to breed cultivars able to maintain yield under limited water availability. The aim of this project is to identify drought stress tolerant genotypes within a diverse Vicia faba set as a knowledge base for selection of crossing parents and for subsequent selection based on morphological and physiological traits associated with relevant drought stress tolerance traits. In this project the effects of drought stress are being investigated in the DroughtSpotter XXL facility at JLU’s Rauischholzhausen experimental station. The genotypes are sown in 240 large containers with a 90 cm deep soil profile in which a fully automated, individual irrigation of each individual container allows the simulation of different drought stress conditions. Weight data of each container is automatically measured every five minutes 24/7, enabling precise gravimetrical recording of water use and stress responses. Non-destructive measurement of above-ground biomass is assessed using a multispectral 3D scanner.

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