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Title: Should Root Plasticity Be a Crop Breeding Target?

Abstract

Root phenotypic plasticity has been proposed as a target for the development of more productive crops in variable environments. However, the plasticity of root anatomical and architectural responses to environmental cues is highly complex, and the consequences of these responses for plant fitness are poorly understood. We propose that root phenotypic plasticity may be beneficial in natural or low-input systems in which the availability of soil resources is spatiotemporally dynamic. Crop ancestors and landraces were selected with multiple stresses, competition, significant root loss and heterogenous resource distribution which favored plasticity in response to resource availability. However, in high-input agroecosystems, the value of phenotypic plasticity is unclear, since human management has removed many of these constraints to root function. Further research is needed to understand the fitness landscape of plastic responses including understanding the value of plasticity in different environments, environmental signals that induce plastic responses, and the genetic architecture of plasticity before it is widely adopted in breeding programs. Phenotypic plasticity has many potential ecological, and physiological benefits, but its costs and adaptive value in high-input agricultural systems is poorly understood and merits further research.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1618986
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1637594
Grant/Contract Number:  
AR0000821
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Plant Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Frontiers in Plant Science Journal Volume: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1664-462X
Publisher:
Frontiers Research Foundation
Country of Publication:
Switzerland
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; anatomy; architecture; breeding; crop, ideotype; plasticity; root

Citation Formats

Schneider, Hannah M., and Lynch, Jonathan P. Should Root Plasticity Be a Crop Breeding Target?. Switzerland: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.3389/fpls.2020.00546.
Schneider, Hannah M., & Lynch, Jonathan P. Should Root Plasticity Be a Crop Breeding Target?. Switzerland. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00546
Schneider, Hannah M., and Lynch, Jonathan P. Fri . "Should Root Plasticity Be a Crop Breeding Target?". Switzerland. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00546.
@article{osti_1618986,
title = {Should Root Plasticity Be a Crop Breeding Target?},
author = {Schneider, Hannah M. and Lynch, Jonathan P.},
abstractNote = {Root phenotypic plasticity has been proposed as a target for the development of more productive crops in variable environments. However, the plasticity of root anatomical and architectural responses to environmental cues is highly complex, and the consequences of these responses for plant fitness are poorly understood. We propose that root phenotypic plasticity may be beneficial in natural or low-input systems in which the availability of soil resources is spatiotemporally dynamic. Crop ancestors and landraces were selected with multiple stresses, competition, significant root loss and heterogenous resource distribution which favored plasticity in response to resource availability. However, in high-input agroecosystems, the value of phenotypic plasticity is unclear, since human management has removed many of these constraints to root function. Further research is needed to understand the fitness landscape of plastic responses including understanding the value of plasticity in different environments, environmental signals that induce plastic responses, and the genetic architecture of plasticity before it is widely adopted in breeding programs. Phenotypic plasticity has many potential ecological, and physiological benefits, but its costs and adaptive value in high-input agricultural systems is poorly understood and merits further research.},
doi = {10.3389/fpls.2020.00546},
journal = {Frontiers in Plant Science},
number = ,
volume = 11,
place = {Switzerland},
year = {2020},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00546

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  • Field Crops Research, Vol. 171
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2014.10.009

The acquisition of phosphorus byLupinus albus L.: III. The probable mechanism by which phosphorus movement in the soil/root interface is enhanced
journal, February 1983

  • Gardner, W. K.; Barber, D. A.; Parbery, D. G.
  • Plant and Soil, Vol. 70, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF02374754

Demystifying roots: A need for clarification and extended concepts in root phenotyping
journal, May 2019


Root anatomical phenes associated with water acquisition from drying soil: targets for crop improvement
journal, April 2014

  • Lynch, Jonathan P.; Chimungu, Joseph G.; Brown, Kathleen M.
  • Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 65, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru162

Genotypic variation and nitrogen stress effects on root anatomy in maize are node specific
journal, June 2019

  • Yang, Jennifer T.; Schneider, Hannah M.; Brown, Kathleen M.
  • Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 70, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erz293

Root Cortical Aerenchyma Enhances Nitrogen Acquisition from Low-Nitrogen Soils in Maize
journal, June 2014

  • Saengwilai, P.; Nord, E. A.; Chimungu, J. G.
  • PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, Vol. 166, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1104/pp.114.241711