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Update on Root Chemical Defenses In Defense of Roots: A Research Agenda for Studying
 

Summary: Update on Root Chemical Defenses
In Defense of Roots: A Research Agenda for Studying
Plant Resistance to Belowground Herbivory1
Sergio Rasmann* and Anurag A. Agrawal
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 148532701
Interest in root biology research is experiencing a
dramatic increase. From a microphytocentric perspec-
tive, the availability of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana)
mutants, along with a sequenced genome, has led to
valuable insights into root biochemistry, development,
and other functions (Flores et al., 1999; D'Auria and
Gershenzon, 2005). From an ecological perspective,
belowground processes are now recognized as essen-
tial components of ecosystem productivity and stability
(Van der Putten, 2003; Wardle et al., 2004). The surface
area of roots can far exceed that of aerial parts, thus
providing tremendous resources for microbes, nema-
todes, and arthropods in the soil, and these organisms
are now recognized as drivers of plant diversity and
ecosystem functioning (De Deyn and Van der Putten,

  

Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology