Multi-scale high-throughput phenotyping of apple architectural and functional traits in orchard reveals genotypic variability under contrasted watering regimes

Coupel-Ledru Aude, Pallas Benoît, Delalande Magalie, Boudon Frédéric, Carrie Emma, Martinez Sébastien, Regnard Jean-Luc, Costes Evelyne. 2019. Multi-scale high-throughput phenotyping of apple architectural and functional traits in orchard reveals genotypic variability under contrasted watering regimes. Horticulture Research, 6:52, 15 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
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Abstract : Despite previous reports on the genotypic variation of architectural and functional traits in fruit trees, phenotyping large populations in the field remains challenging. In this study, we used high-throughput phenotyping methods on an apple tree core-collection (1000 individuals) grown under contrasted watering regimes. First, architectural phenotyping was achieved using T-LiDAR scans for estimating convex and alpha hull volumes and the silhouette to total leaf area ratio (STAR). Second, a semi-empirical index (IPL) was computed from chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, as a proxy for leaf photosynthesis. Last, thermal infrared and multispectral airborne imaging was used for computing canopy temperature variations, water deficit, and vegetation indices. All traits estimated by these methods were compared to low-throughput in planta measurements. Vegetation indices and alpha hull volumes were significantly correlated with tree leaf area and trunk cross sectional area, while IPL values showed strong correlations with photosynthesis measurements collected on an independent leaf dataset. By contrast, correlations between stomatal conductance and canopy temperature estimated from airborne images were lower, emphasizing discrepancies across measurement scales. High heritability values were obtained for almost all the traits except leaf photosynthesis, likely due to large intra-tree variation. Genotypic means were used in a clustering procedure that defined six classes of architectural and functional combinations. Differences between groups showed several combinations between architectural and functional traits, suggesting independent genetic controls. This study demonstrates the feasibility and relevance of combining multi-scale high-throughput methods and paves the way to explore the genetic bases of architectural and functional variations in woody crops in field conditions.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Malus, Arrosage, Intéraction génotype environnement, Variation phénotypique, Surface foliaire, Photosynthèse, Héritabilité génotypique, Fluorescence

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Languedoc-Roussillon, Poitou-Charentes

Mots-clés complémentaires : Architecture des arbres

Classification Agris : F30 - Plant genetics and breeding
F50 - Plant structure
U30 - Research methods

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 1 (2019-) - Biodiversité

Agence(s) de financement européenne(s) : European Commission

Programme de financement européen : FP7

Projet(s) de financement européen(s) : AgreenSkills+

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Coupel-Ledru Aude, Université de Montpellier (FRA)
  • Pallas Benoît, INRA (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Delalande Magalie, INRA (FRA)
  • Boudon Frédéric, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0001-9636-3102
  • Carrie Emma, INRA (FRA)
  • Martinez Sébastien, INRA (FRA)
  • Regnard Jean-Luc, INRA (FRA)
  • Costes Evelyne, INRA (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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