Large Crown Root Number Improves Topsoil Foraging and Phosphorus Acquisition

Baoru Sun, Yingzhi Gao, Jonathan Paul Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Suboptimal phosphorus (P) availability is a primary constraint to plant growth on Earth. We tested the hypothesis that maize (Zea mays) genotypes with large crown root number (CN) will have shallower rooting depth and improved P acquisition from low-P soils. Maize recombinant inbred lines with contrasting CN were evaluated under suboptimal P availability in greenhouse mesocosms and the field. Under P stress in mesocosms, the large-CN phenotype had 48% greater root respiration, 24% shallower rooting depth, 32% greater root length density in the topsoil, 37% greater leaf P concentration, 48% greater leaf photosynthesis, 33% greater stomatal conductance, and 44% greater shoot biomass than the small-CN phenotype. Under P stress in the field, the large-CN phenotype had 32% shallower rooting depth, 51% greater root length density in the topsoil, 44% greater leaf P concentration, 18% greater leaf photosynthesis, 21% greater stomatal conductance, 23% greater shoot biomass at anthesis, and 28% greater yield than the small-CN phenotype. These results support the hypothesis that large CN improves plant P acquisition from low-P soils by reducing rooting depth and increasing topsoil foraging. The large-CN phenotype merits consideration as a selection target to improve P capture in maize and possibly other cereal crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-104
Number of pages15
JournalPlant physiology
Volume177
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Fingerprint

Crowns
Phosphorus
topsoil
tree crown
root crown
foraging
phosphorus
Zea mays
Phenotype
rooting
phenotype
Photosynthesis
Biomass
Soil
stomatal conductance
corn
leaves
photosynthesis
shoots
Respiration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Suboptimal phosphorus (P) availability is a primary constraint to plant growth on Earth. We tested the hypothesis that maize (Zea mays) genotypes with large crown root number (CN) will have shallower rooting depth and improved P acquisition from low-P soils. Maize recombinant inbred lines with contrasting CN were evaluated under suboptimal P availability in greenhouse mesocosms and the field. Under P stress in mesocosms, the large-CN phenotype had 48{\%} greater root respiration, 24{\%} shallower rooting depth, 32{\%} greater root length density in the topsoil, 37{\%} greater leaf P concentration, 48{\%} greater leaf photosynthesis, 33{\%} greater stomatal conductance, and 44{\%} greater shoot biomass than the small-CN phenotype. Under P stress in the field, the large-CN phenotype had 32{\%} shallower rooting depth, 51{\%} greater root length density in the topsoil, 44{\%} greater leaf P concentration, 18{\%} greater leaf photosynthesis, 21{\%} greater stomatal conductance, 23{\%} greater shoot biomass at anthesis, and 28{\%} greater yield than the small-CN phenotype. These results support the hypothesis that large CN improves plant P acquisition from low-P soils by reducing rooting depth and increasing topsoil foraging. The large-CN phenotype merits consideration as a selection target to improve P capture in maize and possibly other cereal crops.",
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Large Crown Root Number Improves Topsoil Foraging and Phosphorus Acquisition. / Sun, Baoru; Gao, Yingzhi; Lynch, Jonathan Paul.

In: Plant physiology, Vol. 177, No. 1, 01.05.2018, p. 90-104.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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