Root Development

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2019) | Viewed by 50667

Special Issue Editors

Department of Biology, Miami University, Hamilton, OH 45011, USA
Interests: plant anatomy and development (especially with regard to roots); stress physiology; aerenchyma formation; and programmed cell death
Prof. Dr. Thomas L. Rost
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Guest Editor
Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences,University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Interests: root structure and development; plant anatomy
Prof. Dr. James L. Seago, Jr.
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Oswego, NY 13126-3599, USA
Interests: meristem and tissue pattern development in roots

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is widely understood that the vast majority of vascular plants produce root systems, and these developed early in the evolution of vascular plants. As important as roots are in their role as essential absorbing organs and as the weight-bearing foundations of most plants, research on root development has typically lagged behind the study of the aerial organs. Root architecture, anatomical pattern formation during primary and secondary growth, and responses to different environmental conditions are highly variable. While use of simple model systems, such as Arabidopsis, has resulted in an excellent beginning for our understanding of molecular signaling that can control root pattern formation, much work remains to be done, given the actual root system diversity and complexity inherent among plant species. This Special Issue will spotlight new discoveries that expand our understanding of several aspects of developmental control and pattern formation in root development in diverse species.

Prof. Dr. Daniel K. Gladish
Prof. Dr. Thomas L. Rost
Prof. Dr. James L. Seago, Jr.
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • root development
  • meristem
  • tissue pattern formation
  • root system architecture
  • root anatomy
  • root function

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 3508 KiB  
Article
Overexpression of MADS-box Gene AGAMOUS-LIKE 12 Activates Root Development in Juglans sp. and Arabidopsis thaliana
Plants 2020, 9(4), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040444 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2702
Abstract
Until recently, the roles of plant MADS-box genes have mainly been characterized during inflorescence and flower differentiation. In order to precise the roles of AGAMOUS-LIKE 12, one of the few MADS-box genes preferentially expressed in roots, we placed its cDNA under the [...] Read more.
Until recently, the roles of plant MADS-box genes have mainly been characterized during inflorescence and flower differentiation. In order to precise the roles of AGAMOUS-LIKE 12, one of the few MADS-box genes preferentially expressed in roots, we placed its cDNA under the control of the double 35S CaMV promoter to produce transgenic walnut tree and Arabidopsis plants. In Juglans sp., transgenic somatic embryos showed significantly higher germination rates but abnormal development of their shoot apex prevented their conversion into plants. In addition, a wide range of developmental abnormalities corresponding to ectopic root-like structures affected the transgenic lines suggesting partial reorientations of the embryonic program toward root differentiation. In Arabidopsis, AtAGL12 overexpression lead to the production of faster growing plants presenting dramatically wider and shorter root phenotypes linked to increased meristematic cell numbers within the root apex. In the upper part of the roots, abnormal cell divisions patterns within the pericycle layer generated large ectopic cell masses that did not prevent plants to grow. Taken together, our results confirm in both species that AGL12 positively regulates root meristem cell division and promotes overall root vascular tissue formation. Genetic engineering of AGL12 expression levels could be useful to modulate root architecture and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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12 pages, 10998 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Metaxylem Vessel Histogenesis and the Occurrence of Vessel Collapse during Early Development in Primary Roots of Zea mays ssp. mexicana: A Result of Premature Programmed Cell Death?
Plants 2020, 9(3), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9030374 - 18 Mar 2020
Viewed by 2328
Abstract
Root apical meristem histological organization in Zea mays has been carefully studied previously. Classical histology describes its system as having a “closed organization” and a development of xylem that conforms to predictable rules. Among the first cell types to begin differentiation are late-maturing [...] Read more.
Root apical meristem histological organization in Zea mays has been carefully studied previously. Classical histology describes its system as having a “closed organization” and a development of xylem that conforms to predictable rules. Among the first cell types to begin differentiation are late-maturing metaxylem (LMX) vessels. As part of a larger study comparing domestic maize root development to a wild subspecies of Z. mays (teosinte), we encountered a metaxylem development abnormality in a small percentage of our specimens that begged further study, as it interrupted normal maturation of LMX. Primary root tips of young seedlings of Zea mays ssp. mexicana were fixed, embedded in appropriate resins, and sectioned for light and transmission electron microscopy. Longitudinal and serial transverse sections were analyzed using computer imaging to determine the position and timing of key xylem developmental events. We observed a severe abnormality of LMX development among 3.5% of the 227 mexicana seedlings we screened. All LMX vessel elements in these abnormal roots collapsed and probably became non-functional shortly after differentiation began. Cytoplasm and nucleoplasm in the abnormal LMX elements became condensed and subdivided into irregularly-shaped “macrovesicles” as their cell walls collapsed inward. We propose that these seedlings possibly suffered from a mutation that affected the timing of the programmed cell death (PCD) that is required to produce functional xylem vessels, such that autolysis of the cytoplasm was prematurely executed, i.e., prior to the development and lignification of secondary walls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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18 pages, 3933 KiB  
Article
Formation of Annual Ring Eccentricity in Coarse Roots within the Root Cage of Pinus ponderosa Growing on Slopes
Plants 2020, 9(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020181 - 02 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
The coarse roots of Pinus ponderosa included in the cage are the ones most involved in tree stability. This study explored the variations in traits, such as volume, cross-sectional area, and radius length of cage roots, and used those data to develop a [...] Read more.
The coarse roots of Pinus ponderosa included in the cage are the ones most involved in tree stability. This study explored the variations in traits, such as volume, cross-sectional area, and radius length of cage roots, and used those data to develop a mathematical model to better understand the type of forces occurring for each shallow lateral root segment belonging to different quadrants of the three-dimensional (3D) root system architecture. The pattern and intensity of these forces were modelled along the root segment from the branching point to the cage edge. Data of root cage volume in the upper 30 cm of soil showed a higher value in the downslope and windward quadrant while, at a deeper soil depth (>30 cm), we found higher values in both upslope and leeward quadrants. The analysis of radius length and the cross-sectional area of the shallow lateral roots revealed the presence of a considerable degree of eccentricity of the annual rings at the branching point and at the cage edge. This eccentricity is due to the formation of compression wood, and the eccentricity changes from the top portion at the branching point to the bottom portion at the cage edge, which we hypothesize may be a response to the variation in mechanical forces occurring in the various zones of the cage. This hypothesis is supported by a mathematical model that shows how the pattern and intensity of different types of mechanical forces are present within the various quadrants of the same root system from the taproot to the cage edge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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11 pages, 2166 KiB  
Article
Roots Structure and Development of Austrobaileya scandens (Austrobaileyaceae) and Implications for Their Evolution in Angiosperms
Plants 2020, 9(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010054 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5136
Abstract
Since the resolution of the ANA grade [Amborellales, Nymphaeales, Austrobaileyales] as sister to all other flowering plants, a few comparative studies of root structure have suggested that some of their anatomical traits could be of importance to understanding root evolutionary development and angiosperm [...] Read more.
Since the resolution of the ANA grade [Amborellales, Nymphaeales, Austrobaileyales] as sister to all other flowering plants, a few comparative studies of root structure have suggested that some of their anatomical traits could be of importance to understanding root evolutionary development and angiosperm phylogeny. However, there is still a paucity of information on root structure and apical meristems (RAMs) in these lineages and especially the sister to all other Austrobaileyales, Austrobaileya scandens. We used microtome sections and bright field, epifluorescence, laser confocal, and scanning electron microscopy to study adventitious root RAMs and tissues of A. scandens. Our results indicate that root structure is relatively simple in A. scandens. The epidermis has a thick cuticle and lacks root hairs. The stele is typically diarch, or some modification thereof, and surrounded by a cortex differentiated into a uniseriate endodermis, a middle region sometimes packed with starch, some oil cells, and colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and a multiseriate exodermis. Secondary growth produced many vessel elements in the secondary xylem and scattered sclerenchymatous fibers in secondary phloem. The absence of distinct patterning within the RAM and between the RAM and derivative differentiating tissues shows that the RAM is open and characterized by common initials. Roots structure and anatomy of A. scandens are thus essentially similar to some previously described in Amborella or Illicium in the ANA grade and many magnoliids, and suggest that the first woody flowering plants likely had an open RAM with common initials. Their functional and evolutionary significance in woody early-diverging and basal lineages of flowering plants and gymnosperms remains unclear, but they are clearly ancestral traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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12 pages, 5796 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic Plasticity in the Structure of Fine Adventitious Metasequoia glyptostroboides Roots Allows Adaptation to Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments
Plants 2019, 8(11), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110501 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2864
Abstract
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Cupressaceae) is a rare deciduous conifer which grows successfully in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. This tree has a narrow natural distribution in central China but is cultivated worldwide. Using histochemical staining and microscopy (both brightfield and epifluorescent), we investigated whether [...] Read more.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Cupressaceae) is a rare deciduous conifer which grows successfully in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. This tree has a narrow natural distribution in central China but is cultivated worldwide. Using histochemical staining and microscopy (both brightfield and epifluorescent), we investigated whether the phenotypic anatomical and histochemical plasticity in the fine adventitious roots of M. glyptostroboides has promoted the adaptation of this plant to aquatic and terrestrial environments. The fine root development and cortex sloughing of M. glyptostroboides occurs later in aquatic habitats than in terrestrial habitats. Anatomical and histochemical analyses have revealed that the apoplastic barriers in the primary growth of the fine roots consist of the endodermis and exodermis with Casparian bands, suberin lamellae, and secondarily lignified cell walls. There were also lignified phi (Φ) thickenings in the cortex. In both aquatic and terrestrial roots, secondary growth was observed in the vascular cambium, which produced secondary xylem and phloem, as well as in the phellogen, which produced cork. As compared to terrestrial adventitious roots, aquatic adventitious roots had multiple lignified Φ thickenings throughout the cortex, larger air spaces, dilated parenchyma, and dense suberin and lignin depositions in the exodermis. Our results thus indicate that phenotypic plasticity in the anatomical features of the fine adventitious roots, including apoplastic barriers, air spaces, and lignified Φ thickenings, might support the adaptation of M. glyptostroboides to both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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14 pages, 2091 KiB  
Article
Salinity Stress Alters Root Morphology and Root Hair Traits in Brassica napus
Plants 2019, 8(7), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8070192 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 75 | Viewed by 20127
Abstract
Plant roots show morphological plasticity and play a substantial role in tolerance to various edaphic stresses. The aim of this study was to explore salinity-induced morphogenic responses of root traits and root hairs of two rapeseed varieties, BARI Sarisha-8 and Binasarisha-5, at the [...] Read more.
Plant roots show morphological plasticity and play a substantial role in tolerance to various edaphic stresses. The aim of this study was to explore salinity-induced morphogenic responses of root traits and root hairs of two rapeseed varieties, BARI Sarisha-8 and Binasarisha-5, at the reproductive stage and perceive the effects on their reproductive growth. The experiment was conducted in a hydroponic culture. Two treatments, 0 mM NaCl as control and 100 mM NaCl, were imposed 55 d after germination. Plants exposed to 100 mM NaCl for seven days displayed greater damage in the leaves, flowers, and siliquae compared to control. Length of root hairs on first-order and third-order lateral roots, density of root hairs on first-order lateral roots, and length of third-order lateral roots were significantly greater by 91%, 22%, 29%, and 48%, respectively, in the treated condition compared to the control. An increase in estimated root surface area by 20% under salt stress conditions indicated that the spontaneous responses of plants to uptake more water and nutrients allowed a plant to cope with stressful conditions. The results of this study suggest that any future stress breeding programs should consider plasticity of root traits intensively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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15 pages, 5916 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Promeristem Structure and Ontogeny of Procambium in Primary Roots of Zea mays ssp. Mexicana and Z. mays ‘Honey Bantam’ with Emphasis on Metaxylem Vessel Histogenesis
Plants 2019, 8(6), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8060162 - 08 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 7636
Abstract
Classical histology describes the histological organization in Zea mays as having a “closed organization” that differs from Arabidopsis with the development of xylem conforming to predictable rules. We speculated that root apical meristem organization in a wild subspecies of Z. mays (a teosinte) [...] Read more.
Classical histology describes the histological organization in Zea mays as having a “closed organization” that differs from Arabidopsis with the development of xylem conforming to predictable rules. We speculated that root apical meristem organization in a wild subspecies of Z. mays (a teosinte) would differ from a domestic sweetcorn cultivar (‘Honey Bantam’). Careful comparison could contribute to understanding how evolutionary processes and the domestication of maize have affected root development. Root tips of seedlings were prepared and sectioned for light microscopy. Most sections were treated with RNase before staining to increase contrast between the walls and cytoplasm. Longitudinal and serial transverse sections were analyzed using computer imaging to determine the position and timing of key xylem developmental events. Metaxylem development in mexicana teosinte differed from sweetcorn only in that the numbers of late-maturing metaxylem vessels in the latter are typically two-fold greater and the number of cells in the transverse section of procambium were greater in the latter, but parenchymatous cell sizes were not statistically different. Promeristems of both were nearly identical in size and organization, but did not operate quite as previously described. Mitotic activity was rare in the quiescent centers, but occasionally a synchronized pulse of mitoses was observed there. Our reinterpretation of histogen theory and procambium development should be useful for future detailed studies of regulation of development, and perhaps its evolution, in this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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Review

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20 pages, 1565 KiB  
Review
Silicification of Root Tissues
Plants 2020, 9(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010111 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 6617
Abstract
Silicon (Si) is not considered an essential element, however, its tissue concentration can exceed that of many essential elements in several evolutionary distant plant species. Roots take up Si using Si transporters and then translocate it to aboveground organs. In some plant species, [...] Read more.
Silicon (Si) is not considered an essential element, however, its tissue concentration can exceed that of many essential elements in several evolutionary distant plant species. Roots take up Si using Si transporters and then translocate it to aboveground organs. In some plant species, root tissues are also places where a high accumulation of Si can be found. Three basic modes of Si deposition in roots have been identified so far: (1) impregnation of endodermal cell walls (e.g., in cereals, such as Triticum (wheat)); (2) formation of Si-aggregates associated with endodermal cell walls (in the Andropogoneae family, which includes Sorghum and Saccharum (sugarcane)); (3) formation of Si aggregates in “stegmata” cells, which form a sheath around sclerenchyma fibers e.g., in some palm species (Phoenix (date palm)). In addition to these three major and most studied modes of Si deposition in roots, there are also less-known locations, such as deposits in xylem cells and intercellular deposits. In our research, the ontogenesis of individual root cells that accumulate Si is discussed. The documented and expected roles of Si deposition in the root is outlined mostly as a reaction of plants to abiotic and biotic stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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