Plant Science Innovation, Center for



Document Type


Date of this Version



Plant Direct. 2020;00:1–16

DOI: 10.1002/pld3.255


2020 The Authors


Changes in canopy architecture traits have been shown to contribute to yield in- creases. Optimizing both light interception and light interception efficiency of agri- cultural crop canopies will be essential to meeting the growing food needs. Canopy architecture is inherently three-dimensional (3D), but many approaches to measuring canopy architecture component traits treat the canopy as a two-dimensional (2D) structure to make large scale measurement, selective breeding, and gene identifi- cation logistically feasible. We develop a high throughput voxel carving strategy to reconstruct 3D representations of sorghum from a small number of RGB photos. Our approach builds on the voxel carving algorithm to allow for fully automatic recon- struction of hundreds of plants. It was employed to generate 3D reconstructions of individual plants within a sorghum association population at the late vegetative stage of development. Light interception parameters estimated from these reconstruc- tions enabled the identification of known and previously unreported loci controlling light interception efficiency in sorghum. The approach is generalizable and scalable, and it enables 3D reconstructions from existing plant high throughput phenotyping datasets. We also propose a set of best practices to increase 3D reconstructions’ accuracy.