Root traits for infertile soils
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Crop production is often restricted by the availability of essential mineral elements. For example, the availability of N, P, K, and S limits low-input agriculture, the phytoavailability of Fe, Zn, and Cu limits crop production on alkaline and calcareous soils, and P, Mo, Mg, Ca,and K deficiencies, together with proton, Al and Mn toxicities, limit crop production on acid soils. Since essential mineral elements are acquired by the root system, the development of crop genotypes with root traits increasing their acquisition should increase yields on infertile soils. This paper examines root traits likely to improve the acquisition of these elements and observes that, although the efficient acquisition of a particular element requires a specific set of root traits, suites of traits can be identified that benefit the acquisition of a group of mineral elements. Elements can be divided into three Groups based on common trait requirements. Group 1 comprises N, S, K, B, and P. Group 2 comprises Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, and Ni. Group 3 contains mineral elements that rarely affect crop production. It is argued that breeding for a limited number of distinct root ideotypes,addressing particular combinations of mineral imbalances, should be pursued.
White , P , George , T , Dupuy , L , Karley , A , Valentine , T , Wiesel , L & Wishart , J 2013 , ' Root traits for infertile soils ' Frontiers in Plant Science , vol 4 , 193 , pp. 1-7 . DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00193
Frontiers in Plant Science
Copyright © 2013 White, George, Dupuy, Karley, Valentine, Wiesel and Wishart. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
This work was supported by the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) of the Scottish Government through Workpackage 3.3 (2011–2016)
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