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Echinochloa species are among the most troublesome weeds in
rice cultivation, and grow in a broad habitat range in Korea. Although
various ecotypes of Echinochloa have been collected as
germplasm for future studies, it has been difficult to classify them due to
their high level of morphological similarity. This study was thus conducted
to develop and investigate the phylogenetic relationships between 77
Echinochloa accessions with the use of 23 simple
sequence repeat (SSR) markers and 24 morphological traits. Of 77
Echinochloa accessions, including 57 accessions from
Korea and 5 reference species, late watergrass was clearly clustered as a
distinctive group from barnyardgrass and other Echinochloa
species. In this analysis, we also identified core genetic and morphological
markers that can be used for the future identification and classification of
Echinochloa species. Five out of 23 SSR makers produced
distinctive bands that discriminate late watergrass from barnyardgrass and
other Echinochloa species. Four morphological traits of the
reproductive organs were the most influential contributors for classifying
Echinochloa species. Although there was no clear
consensus generated in this study between SSR markers and morphological
trait analyses, our results support the potential use of the selected SSR
markers and morphological traits in future studies of
Miscanthus is a promising bioenergy crop due to its high productivity and broad environmental adaptability to tropical and temperate climates. As important Miscanthus species such as M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus are native to East Asia, implying more diverse Miscanthus genetic resources in this region, in this study, we collected about 300 Miscanthus accessions from East Asia, mainly in Korea. From the whole collections, 66 Miscanthus accessions representing geographical location and latitude were selected and tested through a 3-year field trial to investigate genetic diversity in their agronomic traits. Five agronomic traits associated with biomass production were assessed to investigate the relationships of agronomic traits with biomass yield and latitudes of locations where Miscanthus accessions were collected. Plant height, stem diameter, stem dry weight and heading date exhibited a significantly positive correlation with biomass yield with r= 0.465, 0.780, 0.817 and 0.450, respectively. Stem diameter (r= − 0.495), stem dry weight (r= − 0.393), heading date (r= − 0.914) and estimated yield (r= − 0.425) exhibited a significantly negative correlation with latitudes of the collection sites. The results of the study revealed the existence of considerable genetic diversity in agronomic traits in the Miscanthus accessions collected. The presence of a significant relationship between latitudes and agronomic traits suggests that accessions collected from different geographical latitudes will provide more genetically diverse materials for breeding. Therefore, the results of the present study can provide useful information and materials for Miscanthus breeding programmes.
Non-destructive high-throughput phenotyping based on phenomics is an emerging technology for assessing the genetic diversity of various traits and screening in breeding programmes. In this study, non-destructive measurements of leaf temperature and chlorophyll fluorescence were conducted to investigate the physiological responses of soybean (Glycine max) to salt stress so as to set up a non-destructive screening method. Two-week-old seedlings of soybean in the V2 stage were treated with 0, 12.5, 25, 50 and 100 mM NaCl to induce salt stress. Three parameters, photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance and chlorophyll fluorescence, decreased significantly, while soybean leaf temperature increased by exhibiting a positive correlation with NaCl concentration (P< 0.001). Soybean leaf temperature increased significantly at 50 mM NaCl when compared with the untreated control, although no visual symptom was observed. We selected leaf temperature as a major physiological parameter of salt stress as its measurement is much easier, faster and cheaper than that of other physiological parameters. Therefore, leaf temperature can be used for evaluating the responses to salt stress in soybean as a non-destructive and phenomic parameter. The results of this study suggest that non-destructive parameters such as chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf temperature are useful tools for assessing the genetic diversity of soybean with regard to salt stress tolerance and to screen salt stress-tolerant soybean for breeding.
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