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Front Plant Sci. 2013 Dec 26;4:537. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00537.

Systems approaches to study root architecture dynamics.

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Institute of Science and Technology Austria Klosterneuburg, Austria.
Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and Department of Plant Biotechnology and Genetics, Ghent University Technologiepark, Gent, Belgium.
Institute of Science and Technology Austria Klosterneuburg, Austria ; Mendel Centre for Plant Genomics and Proteomics, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic.


The plant root system is essential for providing anchorage to the soil, supplying minerals and water, and synthesizing metabolites. It is a dynamic organ modulated by external cues such as environmental signals, water and nutrients availability, salinity and others. Lateral roots (LRs) are initiated from the primary root post-embryonically, after which they progress through discrete developmental stages which can be independently controlled, providing a high level of plasticity during root system formation. Within this review, main contributions are presented, from the classical forward genetic screens to the more recent high-throughput approaches, combined with computer model predictions, dissecting how LRs and thereby root system architecture is established and developed.


genetic screening; genomics studies; lateral root; root system; systems approach; transcript profiling

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