Root biology

Roots are the interface of plants with soils and the primary organ for nutrient and water uptake. Natural variation for root (anatomical and architectural) phenotypes can have significant effects on soil resource acquisition by modifying the placement of roots in soil domains where limiting resources are most available, improving the metabolic efficiency of soil exploration, as well as altering the radial and axial transport of resources. We aim to understand the functional utility of root traits for improved soil resource acquisition. We combine both genetic and physiological approaches to understand plant adaptations to drought and low fertility environments.