Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Oct;12(10):474-81. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Root system architecture: opportunities and constraints for genetic improvement of crops.

Author information

Unité d'Ecophysiologie et d'Amélioration végétale, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 2-11, B-1348 Louvain la Neuve, Belgium.


Abiotic stresses increasingly curtail crop yield as a result of global climate change and scarcity of water and nutrients. One way to minimize the negative impact of these factors on yield is to manipulate root system architecture (RSA) towards a distribution of roots in the soil that optimizes water and nutrient uptake. It is now established that most of the genetic variation for RSA is driven by a suite of quantitative trait loci. As we discuss here, marker-assisted selection and quantitative trait loci cloning for RSA are underway, exploiting genomic resources, candidate genes and the knowledge gained from Arabidopsis, rice and other crops. Nonetheless, efficient and accurate phenotyping, modelling and collaboration with breeders remain important challenges, particularly when defining ideal RSA for different crops and target environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center