Special Issue "Plant Root Development"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Rujin Chen Website E-Mail
Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA
Interests: plant development, signal transduction, legume

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant roots play an indispensable role in plant growth and development by providing anchorage and interface for water and mineral nutrient acquisition. Root growth is controlled by plant’s developmental programs and highly responsive to environmental cues. Roots are able to establish or avoid interactions with soil microorganisms. Recent progresses in better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms in the control of root growth and development, and with which abiotic and biotic cues are integrated in several plant species, will be highlighted in this Special Issue on “Plant Root Development”.

Dr. Rujin Chen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • root development
  • water and nutrient acquisition and utilization
  • tropic responses
  • signal transduction
  • abiotic and biotic stress responses

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Response of Arabidopsis thaliana Roots with Altered Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP) Gene Expression to the Clubroot Disease and Salt Stress
Plants 2016, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants5010002 - 24 Dec 2015
Cited by 9
Abstract
The clubroot disease of Brassicaceae is caused by the obligate biotrophic protist Plasmodiophora brassicae. The disease is characterized by abnormal tumorous swellings of infected roots that result in reduced drought resistance and insufficient distribution of nutrients, leading to reduced crop yield. It [...] Read more.
The clubroot disease of Brassicaceae is caused by the obligate biotrophic protist Plasmodiophora brassicae. The disease is characterized by abnormal tumorous swellings of infected roots that result in reduced drought resistance and insufficient distribution of nutrients, leading to reduced crop yield. It is one of the most damaging diseases among cruciferous crops worldwide. The acquisition of nutrients by the protist is not well understood. Gene expression profiles in Arabidopsis thaliana clubroots indicate that lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) could be involved in disease development or at least in adaptation to the disease symptoms. Therefore, the aim of the study was to examine the role of some, of the still enigmatic LTPs during clubroot development. For a functional approach, we have generated transgenic plants that overexpress LTP genes in a root specific manner or show reduced LTP gene expression. Our results showed that overexpression of some of the LTP genes resulted in reduced disease severity whereas the lipid content in clubs of LTP mutants seems to be unaffected. Additional studies indicate a role for some LTPs during salt stress conditions in roots of A. thaliana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of PEG-Induced Water Deficit in Solanum nigrum on Zn and Ni Uptake and Translocation in Split Root Systems
Plants 2015, 4(2), 284-297; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4020284 - 05 Jun 2015
Cited by 10
Abstract
Drought strongly influences root activities in crop plants and weeds. This paper is focused on the performance of the heavy metal accumulator Solanum nigrum, a plant which might be helpful for phytoremediation. The water potential in a split root system was decreased [...] Read more.
Drought strongly influences root activities in crop plants and weeds. This paper is focused on the performance of the heavy metal accumulator Solanum nigrum, a plant which might be helpful for phytoremediation. The water potential in a split root system was decreased by the addition of polyethylene glycol (PEG 6000). Rubidium, strontium and radionuclides of heavy metals were used as markers to investigate the uptake into roots, the release to the shoot via the xylem, and finally the basipetal transport via the phloem to unlabeled roots. The uptake into the roots (total contents in the plant) was for most makers more severely decreased than the transport to the shoot or the export from the shoot to the unlabeled roots via the phloem. Regardless of the water potential in the labeling solution, 63Ni and 65Zn were selectively redistributed within the plant. From autoradiographs, it became evident that 65Zn accumulated in root tips, in the apical shoot meristem and in axillary buds, while 63Ni accumulated in young expanded leaves and roots but not in the meristems. Since both radionuclides are mobile in the phloem and are, therefore, well redistributed within the plant, the unequal transfer to shoot and root apical meristems is most likely caused by differences in the cell-to-cell transport in differentiation zones without functional phloem (immature sieve tubes). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiple Autoregulation of Nodulation (AON) Signals Identified through Split Root Analysis of Medicago truncatula sunn and rdn1 Mutants
Plants 2015, 4(2), 209-224; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4020209 - 27 Apr 2015
Cited by 20
Abstract
Nodulation is energetically costly to the host: legumes balance the nitrogen demand with the energy expense by limiting the number of nodules through long-distance signaling. A split root system was used to investigate systemic autoregulation of nodulation (AON) in Medicago truncatula and the [...] Read more.
Nodulation is energetically costly to the host: legumes balance the nitrogen demand with the energy expense by limiting the number of nodules through long-distance signaling. A split root system was used to investigate systemic autoregulation of nodulation (AON) in Medicago truncatula and the role of the AON genes RDN1 and SUNN in the regulatory circuit. Developing nodule primordia did not trigger AON in plants carrying mutations in RDN1 and SUNN genes, while wild type plants had fully induced AON within three days. However, despite lacking an early suppression response, AON mutants suppressed nodulation when roots were inoculated 10 days or more apart, correlated with the maturation of nitrogen fixing nodules. In addition to correlation between nitrogen fixation and suppression of nodulation, suppression by extreme nutrient stress was also observed in all genotypes and may be a component of the observed response due to the conditions of the assay. These results suggest there is more than one systemic regulatory circuit controlling nodulation in M. truncatula. While both signals are present in wild type plants, the second signal can only be observed in plants lacking the early repression (AON mutants). RDN1 and SUNN are not essential for response to the later signal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Control of Auxin Transport in Parasitic and Symbiotic Root–Microbe Interactions
Plants 2015, 4(3), 606-643; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4030606 - 24 Aug 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
Most field-grown plants are surrounded by microbes, especially from the soil. Some of these, including bacteria, fungi and nematodes, specifically manipulate the growth and development of their plant hosts, primarily for the formation of structures housing the microbes in roots. These developmental processes [...] Read more.
Most field-grown plants are surrounded by microbes, especially from the soil. Some of these, including bacteria, fungi and nematodes, specifically manipulate the growth and development of their plant hosts, primarily for the formation of structures housing the microbes in roots. These developmental processes require the correct localization of the phytohormone auxin, which is involved in the control of cell division, cell enlargement, organ development and defense, and is thus a likely target for microbes that infect and invade plants. Some microbes have the ability to directly synthesize auxin. Others produce specific signals that indirectly alter the accumulation of auxin in the plant by altering auxin transport. This review highlights root–microbe interactions in which auxin transport is known to be targeted by symbionts and parasites to manipulate the development of their host root system. We include case studies for parasitic root–nematode interactions, mycorrhizal symbioses as well as nitrogen fixing symbioses in actinorhizal and legume hosts. The mechanisms to achieve auxin transport control that have been studied in model organisms include the induction of plant flavonoids that indirectly alter auxin transport and the direct targeting of auxin transporters by nematode effectors. In most cases, detailed mechanisms of auxin transport control remain unknown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessReview
Abscisic Acid: Hidden Architect of Root System Structure
Plants 2015, 4(3), 548-572; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4030548 - 11 Aug 2015
Cited by 28
Abstract
Plants modulate root growth in response to changes in the local environment, guided by intrinsic developmental genetic programs. The hormone Abscisic Acid (ABA) mediates responses to different environmental factors, such as the presence of nitrate in the soil, water stress and salt, shaping [...] Read more.
Plants modulate root growth in response to changes in the local environment, guided by intrinsic developmental genetic programs. The hormone Abscisic Acid (ABA) mediates responses to different environmental factors, such as the presence of nitrate in the soil, water stress and salt, shaping the structure of the root system by regulating the production of lateral roots as well as controlling root elongation by modulating cell division and elongation. Curiously, ABA controls different aspects of root architecture in different plant species, perhaps providing some insight into the great diversity of root architecture in different plants, both from different taxa and from different environments. ABA is an ancient signaling pathway, acquired well before the diversification of land plants. Nonetheless, how this ancient signaling module is implemented or interacts within a larger signaling network appears to vary in different species. This review will examine the role of ABA in the control of root architecture, focusing on the regulation of lateral root formation in three plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula and Oryza sativa. We will consider how the implementation of the ABA signaling module might be a target of natural selection, to help contribute to the diversity of root architecture in nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessReview
Hormonal Control of Lateral Root and Nodule Development in Legumes
Plants 2015, 4(3), 523-547; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4030523 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 23
Abstract
Many plants can establish symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, some of which lead to nodulation, including legumes. Indeed, in the rhizobium/legume symbiosis, new root organs, called nodules, are formed by the plant in order to host the rhizobia in protective conditions, optimized for nitrogen [...] Read more.
Many plants can establish symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, some of which lead to nodulation, including legumes. Indeed, in the rhizobium/legume symbiosis, new root organs, called nodules, are formed by the plant in order to host the rhizobia in protective conditions, optimized for nitrogen fixation. In this way, these plants can benefit from the reduction of atmospheric dinitrogen into ammonia by the hosted bacteria, and in exchange the plant provides the rhizobia with a carbon source. Since this symbiosis is costly for the plant it is highly regulated. Both legume nodule and lateral root organogenesis involve divisions of the root inner tissues, and both developmental programs are tightly controlled by plant hormones. In fact, most of the major plant hormones, such as auxin, cytokinins, abscisic acid, and strigolactones, control both lateral root formation and nodule organogenesis, but often in an opposite manner. This suggests that the sensitivity of legume plants to some phytohormones could be linked to the antagonism that exists between the processes of nodulation and lateral root formation. Here, we will review the implication of some major phytohormones in lateral root formation in legumes, compare them with their roles in nodulation, and discuss specificities and divergences from non-legume eudicot plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessReview
Cell Wall Amine Oxidases: New Players in Root Xylem Differentiation under Stress Conditions
Plants 2015, 4(3), 489-504; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4030489 - 14 Jul 2015
Cited by 10
Abstract
Polyamines (PAs) are aliphatic polycations present in all living organisms. A growing body of evidence reveals their involvement as regulators in a variety of physiological and pathological events. They are oxidatively deaminated by amine oxidases (AOs), including copper amine oxidases (CuAOs) and flavin [...] Read more.
Polyamines (PAs) are aliphatic polycations present in all living organisms. A growing body of evidence reveals their involvement as regulators in a variety of physiological and pathological events. They are oxidatively deaminated by amine oxidases (AOs), including copper amine oxidases (CuAOs) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent polyamine oxidases (PAOs). The biologically-active hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a shared compound in all of the AO-catalyzed reactions, and it has been reported to play important roles in PA-mediated developmental and stress-induced processes. In particular, the AO-driven H2O2 biosynthesis in the cell wall is well known to be involved in plant wound healing and pathogen attack responses by both triggering peroxidase-mediated wall-stiffening events and signaling modulation of defense gene expression. Extensive investigation by a variety of methodological approaches revealed high levels of expression of cell wall-localized AOs in root xylem tissues and vascular parenchyma of different plant species. Here, the recent progresses in understanding the role of cell wall-localized AOs as mediators of root xylem differentiation during development and/or under stress conditions are reviewed. A number of experimental pieces of evidence supports the involvement of apoplastic H2O2 derived from PA oxidation in xylem tissue maturation under stress-simulated conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessReview
Advancements in Root Growth Measurement Technologies and Observation Capabilities for Container-Grown Plants
Plants 2015, 4(3), 369-392; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4030369 - 03 Jul 2015
Cited by 23
Abstract
The study, characterization, observation, and quantification of plant root growth and root systems (Rhizometrics) has been and remains an important area of research in all disciplines of plant science. In the horticultural industry, a large portion of the crops grown annually are grown [...] Read more.
The study, characterization, observation, and quantification of plant root growth and root systems (Rhizometrics) has been and remains an important area of research in all disciplines of plant science. In the horticultural industry, a large portion of the crops grown annually are grown in pot culture. Root growth is a critical component in overall plant performance during production in containers, and therefore it is important to understand the factors that influence and/or possible enhance it. Quantifying root growth has varied over the last several decades with each method of quantification changing in its reliability of measurement and variation among the results. Methods such as root drawings, pin boards, rhizotrons, and minirhizotrons initiated the aptitude to measure roots with field crops, and have been expanded to container-grown plants. However, many of the published research methods are monotonous and time-consuming. More recently, computer programs have increased in use as technology advances and measuring characteristics of root growth becomes easier. These programs are instrumental in analyzing various root growth characteristics, from root diameter and length of individual roots to branching angle and topological depth of the root architecture. This review delves into the expanding technologies involved with expertly measuring root growth of plants in containers, and the advantages and disadvantages that remain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessReview
Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement
Plants 2015, 4(2), 334-355; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4020334 - 15 Jun 2015
Cited by 87
Abstract
Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to [...] Read more.
Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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Open AccessReview
Functions of Nitric Oxide (NO) in Roots during Development and under Adverse Stress Conditions
Plants 2015, 4(2), 240-252; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants4020240 - 22 May 2015
Cited by 17
Abstract
The free radical molecule, nitric oxide (NO), is present in the principal organs of plants, where it plays an important role in a wide range of physiological functions. Root growth and development are highly regulated by both internal and external factors such as [...] Read more.
The free radical molecule, nitric oxide (NO), is present in the principal organs of plants, where it plays an important role in a wide range of physiological functions. Root growth and development are highly regulated by both internal and external factors such as nutrient availability, hormones, pattern formation, cell polarity and cell cycle control. The presence of NO in roots has opened up new areas of research on the role of NO, including root architecture, nutrient acquisition, microorganism interactions and the response mechanisms to adverse environmental conditions, among others. Additionally, the exogenous application of NO throughout the roots has the potential to counteract specific damages caused by certain stresses. This review aims to provide an up-to-date perspective on NO functions in the roots of higher plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Root Development)
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