Functional Phenotyping of Plant Response to Abiotic Stress: Standardization, Screening and Analysis



Prof. Menachem Moshelion 

(Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel)

Title: Functional Phenotyping of Plant Response to Abiotic Stress: Standardization, Screening and Analysis

Date:  June 12th  2020 / Time: 14:00   (Berlin Time) /  7.00 AM (CDT)

Additional date:  November 13th 2020 / Time: 14:00   (Berlin Time) /  7.00 AM (CDT)


Link to Menachem Moshelions Website

Link to The iCORE Center for Functional Phenotyping of Whole-Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses

Watch the recorded webinar online 




Food security for the growing global population is a major concern. The data provided by genomic tools far exceeds the supply of phenotypic data, creating a knowledge gap. To meet the challenge of improving crops to feed the growing global population, this gap must be bridged.
Physiological traits are considered key functional traits in the context of responsiveness or sensitivity to environmental conditions. Many recently introduced high-throughput (HTP) phenotyping techniques are based on remote sensing or imaging and are capable of directly measuring morphological traits, but measure physiological parameters mainly indirectly.
In my talk, I will describe key mechanisms involved in plant water-balance management as well as the principal trade-offs between crop productivity and survivability mechanisms. I will elaborate on the differences between a "conservative" mechanism that improves the likelihood of plant survival, as well as “riskier” mechanisms that enhance rapid growth under optimal conditions, but may leave the plant particularly vulnerable to stress conditions. In addition, I will focus on the following points: The challenges in the use of pot experiments in a greenhouse. The challenges of physiological phenotyping and its advantages for the functional phenotyping of plant-environment interactions. The advantages of continuous and simultaneous measurement of dynamic soil, plant and atmosphere conditions, alongside the measurement of key physiological traits. Standardization of drought experiments in order to mimic field stress scenarios. And Translating data to knowledge and its future perspectives of integrating complex physiological traits to enhance functional breeding approaches and guide in crop modeling.



I'm a molecular physiologist interested in elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling whole-plant Water-Use Efficiency, water-potential homeostasis and crop productivity, under normal and abiotic stress conditions. Mainly we focused in small membrane proteins which function as water channels – Aquaporins (AQPs).

Our research hypothesis is that AQPs might be good candidates for controlling the plant's osmotic and hydraulic conductivity, and since some AQPs have been reported to conduct CO2, there was a strong likelihood that they could be used to improve osmotic stress tolerance and Water-Use Efficiency in plants (Our agricultural model plant is tomato (Solanum lycopersicom)).