Sorghum root-system classification in contrasting phosphor environments

Genotypes with an exploratory root system at both high and limited P availability, which may be advantageous if N or water is the limiting factor, showed the highest P uptake levels.

Adaptation to phosphorus (P) scarcity relies on changes in root morphology towards rooting systems well suited for topsoil foraging. Parra-Londono et al. analysed traits describing root-system architecture in a sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) diversity panel grown under low and high P availability, and identified genotypes with a small, a compact and an exploratory root system.

Sorghum root system

The latter may benefit plant growth if water, nitrogen (N) or P availability is limited. Genotypes were fingerprinted with a 90k SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) array. Genome wide association studies reveal promising marker-trait associations, with the potential to develop stable markers for marker-assisted selection on two chromosomes.

The Annals of Botany Office is based at the University of Oxford.

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