plant phys use in breeding

Tony Travis ajt at
Wed Sep 9 12:14:47 EST 1992

In article <9289164057.MIN-LDZBa20156.bionet-news at> you write:
: If I may put in my $.02 worth: 
: The big obstacle IMHO is not so much the time it takes to do a measurement, but
: rather to do a meaningful measurement.

True, but my point was that computers/technology can make the
difference between attempting to make meaningful measurements or simply
weighing the plants in a trial because it would be too costly to do any
other measurements.

: Has anyone ever tried to do leaf photosynthesis or water potentials in a
: corn field (or worse a soybean field?) What is being done is an observation of a single point in time and not a really good indication of the sum total of 
: activity. What leaf was sampled? Was it shaded or in full sun? What was it 
: like ten minutes ago? Was the wind blowing? Darn, theres a cloud coming! ;)

What about experimental design?

: What we need to be thinking of (and it aint easy) is a way to take into account the whole plant response.

That's what weighing the plant measures isn't it :-)

: A real elegant way to apply selection is to use a "suicide screen". One of my
: favorite ones is the selection of plants resistant to toxic amino acid analogs.
: This is physiological selection, is it not? The plants that recover best tend 
: to produce more of the amino acid. 
: To continue along this vein suppose we wanted to select specifically for low 
: respiration rate. What would be nice is to uniformly apply a chemical that 
: penalizes the plant for respiring. I am thinking out loud now, but there must
: be something that would do this. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
: Allen

My particular interest is in modelling the anatomical characteristics
that make crops susceptible to lodging.  It is possible to manipulate
mathematical models in ways that are not practical in field trials and
then return to the field trials to explore interesting areas in more
detail.  The snag, of course, is constructing a good model ...

There is an interesting paper on the modeling of crop canopies by
Tarbell, K.A. Cheng, D.K. and Reid, J.F. (1991) Corn growth and
development attributes obtained using inductive learning techniques.
Transactions of the ASAE, 34, 2264-2271.  I think this is the sort of
approach that will yield the most information eventually.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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