Submitted to: Cotton Physiology Book II
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The root system of the cotton plant not only serves to anchor the plant but provides nutrients, water and other growth substances necessary for plant productivity. This chapter, which is one part of a book devoted to a discussion of current knowledge in the field of cotton physiology, describes some of the factors that influence root system development and speculates on future research areas for improving plant performance under different environmental conditions.
Technical Abstract: The growth of the root system of cotton is genetically controlled but may be modified by the environment. There are many factors that affect the growth of the root system which may be broadly categorized into physical, chemical and biological factors. The influence of each factor such as soil temperature, soil water, plant growth regulators, and pathogens are discussed within the framework of these broad categories. The genetic variability of the development of cotton roots is discussed in the context of a possible mechanism for enhancing root development under adverse conditions as are different management scenarios. Methods used to evaluate root system development in cotton are also presented. Finally, comments concerning possible future research directions leading to a better understanding of the role of root systems in influencing plant productivity are discussed.