Plants have acquired a variety of whole-plant protection mechanisms in response to abiotic stresses, often at the expenses of performance. Hence, a given trait can have positive, negative or no effect depending on the stress scenario. A new approach has emerged that dissects yield and integrative traits that influence stress tolerance into heritable traits (e.g. sensitivity parameters or architectural traits) by using phenotyping platforms with model-assisted methods. The genetic and physiological mechanisms accounting for the variability of these traits and their effects on yield are considered in a second step. Effects of traits on yield are analysed via a combination of modelling and field experiments, which allows identification of the stress scenarios where a given allele has favourable effects.
Current Opinion in Plant Biology (2010) 13 (2) 206-212 [doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2009.12.012]