Dr Peter J. Gregory is Emeritus Professor of Global Food Security at the University of Reading, UK, where he was previously Professor of Soil Science. Amongst many distinctions, Professor Gregory is a former President of the International Society of Root Research (ISRR) as well as former Chief Executive of the Scottish Crop Research Institute (now part of the James Hutton Institute) and East Malling Research (now NIAB-EMR). He is internationally-renowned for his research in soil and crop root science.
"…a well-curated collection of chapters that provides a broad state-of-the-art survey of how roots contribute to plant crop performance and edaphic stress tolerance…Given the urgency to deploy sustainable and resilient agricultural technologies, this excellent collection demonstrates how novel approaches and collaborative trans-disciplinarity can prepare the field of root biology for transformative, real-world impacts." (Annals of Botany)
Recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in research on plant roots. A deeper understanding of the complex ways roots interact with soils is making it possible to ‘design’ roots to optimise nutrient/water uptake in low-input environments, as well as deliver other benefits such as improved soil health and reduced nutrient leaching. Continued research is needed in this important area so that it can contribute to more sustainable, ‘climate-smart’ crop production.
Understanding and improving crop root function features authoritative reviews of current research in all aspects of root science, including root growth regulators, root anatomy, nutrient acquisition and root system architecture. This collection discusses the responses of plant roots to abiotic and biotic stresses and how understanding nutrient uptake can be exploited to optimise root function. The book concludes with a dedicated section on methods used to improve crop root function and crop nutrient use efficiency, such as the use of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR).
With its eminent editor and international array of expert authors, Understanding and improving crop root function will be a standard reference for university researchers in crop physiology and nutrition, government and other agencies supporting agriculture, companies supplying crop nutrition products and services, as well as farmers.
Comprehensive review of key topics in root science, including root architecture, root growth regulators, root anatomy and nutrient acquisition
Coverage of root response to both biotic and abiotic variables
Discusses the range of techniques to optimize root function, from phenotyping to identify desirable root traits and exploiting the genetics of root traits to the use of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM)
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What others are saying...
"The proposed book is timely and highly relevant, given the advances accomplished in this topic over recent years. Its content provides a comprehensive compilation of current knowledge by well-recognized experts in the field. This book promises to be a standard reference for scientists and students in plant and agricultural science around the world. Congratulations." Dr Philippe Hinsinger, Head of Environment and Agronomy Division, INRA, France
"This book brings together the foremost scientists in plant root research and promises to be a unique one-stop reference for the latest in root research. The chapters and topics are timely and important in exploiting our understanding of plant roots to help solve the resource challenges facing agriculture." Professor Michelle Watt, University of Bonn, Germany; Director - Institute of Bio and Geosciences 2 (IBG-2), Germany; President of the International Society of Root Research
Table of contents
Part 1 Analysing root system architecture, growth and interactions with the rhizosphere 1.Advances in root architectural modeling: Johannes A. Postma, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany; and Christopher K. Black, The Pennsylania State University, USA; 2.The development of crop root architecture and optimization of nutrition acquisition: the case of rice: Wei Xuan, Nanjing Agricultural University, China; Yuanming Xie, Nanjing Agricultural University, China and Ghent University and VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Belgium; and Tom Beeckman, Ghent University and VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Belgium; 3.Advances in understanding plant root growth regulators: Findimila Dio Ishaya and Amanda Rasmussen, University of Nottingham, UK; 4.Advances in understanding plant root anatomy and nutrient acquisition: Dimitris L. Bouranis and Styliani N. Chorianopoulou, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece; 5.Advances in understanding plant root hairs in relation to nutrient acquisition and crop root function: Timothy S. George and Lawrie K. Brown, The James Hutton Institute, UK; and A. Glyn Bengough, University of Dundee, UK; 6.Understanding plant-root interactions
with rhizobacteria to improve biological nitrogen fixation in crops: Ulrike Mathesius, Australian National University, Australia; Jian Jin, La Trobe
University, Australia and Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Yansheng Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; and Michelle Watt, Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, Germany and University of Melbourne, Australia; 7.Advances in understanding
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal effects on soil nutrient cycling: Haiyang Zhang and Jeff R. Powell, Western Sydney University, Australia;
Part 2 Root response to biotic threats 8.Advances in understanding plant root response to weedy root parasites: M. Fernández-Aparicio and D. Rubiales, CSIC, Spain; 9.Advances in understanding plant root responses to root-feeding insects: Scott N. Johnson, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment – Western Sydney University, Australia; and Ximena Cibils-Stewart, Hawkesbury Institute
for the Environment – Western Sydney University, Australia and Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA), Uruguay; 10.Advances in understanding plant root response to nematode attack: Shahid Siddique, University of California-Davis, USA; and John T. Jones, The James Hutton Institute and University of St Andrews, UK;
Part 3 Root uptake of nutrients and water 11.Advances in the understanding of nitrogen (N) uptake by plant roots: Malcolm J. Hawkesford and William R. Whalley, Rothamsted Research, UK; 12.Advances in understanding plant root uptake of phosphorus: Jiayin Pang, The University of Western Australia, Australia; Zhihui Wen, The University of Western Australia, Australia and China Agricultural University, China; Daniel Kidd and Megan H. Ryan, The University of Western Australia, Australia; Rui-Peng Yu, Long Li and Wen-Feng Cong, China Agricultural University, China; Kadambot H. M. Siddique, The University of Western Australia, Australia; and Hans Lambers, The University of Western Australia, Australia and China Agricultural University, China; 13.Advances in understanding plant root water uptake: Mutez Ali Ahmed, University of Bayreuth, Germany; Doris Vetterlein, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Germany; and Andrea Carminati, University of Bayreuth, Germany;
Part 4 Improving root function 14.Understanding and exploiting the genetics of plant root traits: Roberto Tuberosa, Elisabetta Frascaroli, Marco Maccaferri and Silvio Salvi, University of Bologna, Italy; 15.The use of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to
improve root function and crop nutrient use efficiency: Melissa M. Larrabee and Louise M. Nelson, University of British Columbia, Canada; 16.The use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to improve root function and nutrient-use efficiency: Tom Thirkell, Grace Hoysted, Ashleigh Elliott and Katie Field, University of Leeds, UK; and Tim Daniell, University of Sheffield, UK; 17.Using systems agronomy to
exploit deep roots in crops: John Kirkegaard and Julianne Lilley, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Australia; 18.Rootstocks to improve root function and resource-use efficiency: Francisco Pérez-Alfocea, CEBAS-CSIC, Spain; Stephen Yeboah, CSIR-Crops Research Institute,
Ghana; and Ian C. Dodd, Lancaster Environment Centre, UK; 19.Delivering improved phosphorus acquisition by root systems in pasture and arable crops: Richard J. Simpson and Rebecca E. Haling, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Australia; and Phillip Graham, Graham Advisory, Australia;