1932

Abstract

Roots provide the primary mechanism that plants use to absorb water and nutrients from their environment. These functions are dependent on developmental mechanisms that direct root growth and branching into regions of soil where these resources are relatively abundant. Water is the most limiting factor for plant growth, and its availability is determined by the weather, soil structure, and salinity. In this review, we define the developmental pathways that regulate the direction of growth and branching pattern of the root system, which together determine the expanse of soil from which a plant can access water. The ability of plants to regulate development in response to the spatial distribution of water is a focus of many recent studies and provides a model for understanding how biological systems utilize positional cues to affect signaling and morphogenesis. A better understanding of these processes will inform approaches to improve crop water use efficiency to more sustainably feed a growing population.

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2019-10-06
2024-05-23
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