Free Access

Cover Image

  • Pages: i
  • First Published: 26 February 2022
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The cover image is based on the Original Article Soil penetration by maize roots is negatively related to ethylene-induced thickening by Dorien Vanhees et al.,

Image credits: Craig J Sturrock, The Hounsfield Facility, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham.


Free Access

Issue Information

  • Pages: 591-594
  • First Published: 26 February 2022



Open Access

Deconstructing the root system of grasses through an exploration of development, anatomy and function

  • Pages: 602-619
  • First Published: 28 January 2022

The review focuses on the root types that make up root systems of members of the grass family such as Zea mays and Oryza sativa. We summarize research that explores the development and genetic networks associated with these root types and describe how root-type functions are involved in the acclimation to environmental stresses.


Open Access

Future roots for future soils

  • Pages: 620-636
  • First Published: 02 November 2021

Root phenotypes can be selected to optimize crop performance in response to mechanical impedance in agricultural soils.

Open Access

Root hydraulic phenotypes impacting water uptake in drying soils

  • Pages: 650-663
  • First Published: 17 January 2022
Summary statement

During soil drying, the drop in soil–plant hydraulic conductance causes a decline in root water uptake, which is impacted by soil and root hydraulic phenotypes. Lower root conductance, longer root length and longer root hairs would allow plants to maintain water uptake at lower soil matric potential.


Significance of root hairs in developing stress-resilient plants for sustainable crop production

  • Pages: 677-694
  • First Published: 02 December 2021
Summary Statement

Root hairs contribute to plant survival and assist in maintaining a holistic plant ecosystem through a coordinated interplay with various abiotic (edaphic, water and mineral nutrients) and biotic (microorganisms) components.


Open Access

Root dynamic growth strategies in response to salinity

  • Pages: 695-704
  • First Published: 30 October 2021

This review highlights recent research on the effect of soil salinity on root growth modulation. We discuss root architecture plasticity, root tropisms and root cell wall modifications under salinity stress in Arabidopsis thaliana and several crop species.

Open Access

Below-ground plant–soil interactions affecting adaptations of rice to iron toxicity

  • Pages: 705-718
  • First Published: 09 October 2021

Progress in identifying markers for Fe toxicity tolerance in rice has been slow because of the complexity of tolerance mechanisms and the importance of below-ground plant-soil interactions. We review current understanding of these below-ground processes, including recent advances in the molecular physiology of tolerance.


The role of roots and rhizosphere in providing tolerance to toxic metals and metalloids

  • Pages: 719-736
  • First Published: 07 October 2021

Human activity and natural processes have led to the widespread dissemination of metals and metalloids, many of which are toxic and have a negative impact on agronomic production. Roots, as the first point of contact, are essential in endowing plants with tolerance to excess metals and matalloids in the soil. In this review, we will provide details on how root processes are involved in the detoxification of arsenic, cadmium, mercury and zinc in crops. Furthermore, we will assess if any of these methodologies have been tested in field conditions.


Open Access

Arabidopsis root growth and development under metal exposure presented in an adverse outcome pathway framework

  • Pages: 737-750
  • First Published: 09 July 2021

This review compiles all data on root system architecture under Cu, Cd and Zn, in single or multi-metal exposure in Arabidopsis thaliana, and links it to the responses at different biological levels. Global incorporation of the data into an adverse outcome pathway framework is presented.


Genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying root architecture and function under heat stress—A hidden story

  • Pages: 771-788
  • First Published: 19 January 2022

The review focuses on the responses of the belowground root under heat stress exposure. We have summarized the various morphological, anatomical and molecular mechanisms employed by roots to mitigate the effect of heat stress, in addition to chemical and biopriming strategies.


Open Access

Integrated root phenotypes for improved rice performance under low nitrogen availability

  • Pages: 805-822
  • First Published: 10 February 2022

Summary Statement

Multiscale mechanistic modelling identified several integrated root phenotypes in rice with superior yield under low N availability. Synergism among root phenes was an important component of phenotypic performance.

Semifield root phenotyping: Root traits for deep nitrate uptake

  • Pages: 823-836
  • First Published: 21 November 2021
Summary Statement

Root traits of winter wheat were constructed from minirhizotron image data. Root traits predicted 24% of 15N tracer uptake, which was injected at anthesis at 1.8 m depth, and explained genotypic variation in tracer uptake.

Open Access

Root angle in maize influences nitrogen capture and is regulated by calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 15 (ZmCIPK15)

  • Pages: 837-853
  • First Published: 25 June 2021

Genome-wide association mapping identified CBL-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 15 (ZmCIPK15) gene that controls root angle and is associated with increased deep nitrogen capture and plant performance in low nitrogen environments.

Aus rice root architecture variation contributing to grain yield under drought suggests a key role of nodal root diameter class

  • Pages: 854-870
  • First Published: 31 January 2022
Summary statement

In exploring the relationships between root architecture and yield under drought in aus rice, nodal root diameter class stood out in both a path analysis linking early-stage greenhouse studies with root growth in the field at later stages, as well in genome-wide association study colocations with grain yield under drought.

ABA regulation of root growth during soil drying and recovery can involve auxin response

  • Pages: 871-883
  • First Published: 27 June 2021

Field crops regularly face period of soil-drying and after rainfall under climate change. Our study on tomato showed that ABA/IAA interaction is involved in plant drought responses by affecting large-scale root gene expressions and dynamically reshaping root architecture throughout the drying and re-watering.

Open Access

Rice increases phosphorus uptake in strongly sorbing soils by intra-root facilitation

  • Pages: 884-899
  • First Published: 09 February 2022
Summary Statement

Upland rice increases phosphorus uptake in strongly sorbing soils by placing fine S-type lateral roots inside the solubilization zones of thicker roots.

OsHyPRP06/R3L1 regulates root system development and salt tolerance via apoplastic ROS homeostasis in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

  • Pages: 900-914
  • First Published: 07 September 2021

OsR3L1 (Os04g0554500), the root-specific expression HyPRP protein, regulates root system development and salt tolerance through regulation of peroxidases and apoplastic H2O2 metabolism.

Open Access

Ammonium regulates the development of pine roots through hormonal crosstalk and differential expression of transcription factors in the apex

  • Pages: 915-935
  • First Published: 01 November 2021

Ammonium causes alterations in transcription factor expressions and phytohormone distributions in the root apexes of maritime pine seedlings. This crosstalk seems to be related with the changes the root system architecture phenotype promoted by ammonium.

Phytochelatin and coumarin enrichment in root exudates of arsenic-treated white lupin

  • Pages: 936-954
  • First Published: 15 August 2021

Root exudation response of white lupin to arsenic contamination was tested in a semi-hydroponic system using untargeted tandem mass spectrometry. Significant enrichment of phytochelatins in exudates represents a potential mechanism which can explain the successful tolerance of metalloid excluder species.

The volatile cedrene from Trichoderma guizhouense modulates Arabidopsis root development through auxin transport and signalling

  • Pages: 969-984
  • First Published: 20 November 2021
Summary Statement

From the volatile compounds produced by a plant beneficial fungus, we identified a novel component cedrene that can promote plant root development. We revealed the role of auxin signalling and transport in the process of cedrene-promoted root development. This study complements the lack of identification of distinct bioactive compounds from microbial sources and provides a helpful tool to study and decipher the underlying cellular and molecular reactions and mechanism occurring in microbe-plant interactions.