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Demystifying roots: a need for clarification and extended concepts in root phenotyping

Lobet, Guillaume; Paez-Garcia, Ana; Schneider, Hannah; Junker, Astrid; Atkinson, Jonathan A.; Tracy, Saoirse

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Guillaume Lobet

Ana Paez-Garcia

Hannah Schneider

Astrid Junker

Saoirse Tracy


Plant roots have major roles in plant anchorage, resource acquisition and offer environmental benefits including carbon sequestration and soil erosion mitigation. As such, the study of root system architecture, anatomy and functional properties is of crucial interest to plant breeding, with the aim of sustainable yield production and environmental stewardship.

Due to the importance of the root system studies, there is a need for clarification of terms and concepts in the root phenotyping community. In particular in this contribution, we advocate for the use of a reference naming system (ontologies) for roots and root phenes. Such uniformity would not only allow better understanding of research results, but would also enable a better sharing of data. In addition, we highlight the need to incorporate the concept of plasticity in breeding programs, as it is an essential component of root system development in heterogeneous environments.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2018
Publication Date Sep 25, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 12, 2018
Journal Plant Science
Print ISSN 0168-9452
Electronic ISSN 1873-2259
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 282
Pages 11-13
Keywords Root; Phenotyping; Plasticity; Ontology
Public URL
Publisher URL


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