Submitted to: Annual Missouri Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2006
Publication Date: 5/24/2006
Citation: Zobel, R.W. 2006. Do you know what class your roots are in? and why it matters?. 23rd Annual Missouri Symposium: Plant roots from genes to form and function. Columbia, MO. May 24-26, 2006. Abstracts volume. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Genetic control of root form and function has been demonstrated to be specific for root type (class) within a root system. Previous research has characterized 4 distinct root types within the primary root system of corn, soybean, tomato and snap bean. Current evidence suggests that this level of specificity also applies to the finest roots of a root system (tertiary system). It will be demonstrated that different fine root (<1 mm) diameter classes have characteristic responses to environmental differences. These response patterns vary between cultivars as well as species, but are consistent within a homozygous cultivar. Some of these responses are: increases or decreases in diameter, increased elongation (initiation) or increased death, increased or decreased tissue mass density, and initiation of novel root types. It will be shown that, in a wide selection of species, there are as many as 4, apparently distinct, diameter classes of root less than 1 mm in diameter. One conclusion is that many root characteristics may have a rather simple inheritance pattern rather than the presumed multi- or poly-genic inheritance. Initial techniques, to identify and separate these classes for additional study, will be discussed.