Evaluating the Complexity of the Embryogenic Root System

Nalysha Torres, Tony Grift, Martin Bohn


Roots are of key importance for plant development and productivity. Roots are responsible for the uptake of water and nutrients, as well as stability. Complex root systems are very important for the overall plant development. In this study, we evaluated the complexity of the embryogenic root system, i.e., the root system which develops from the seed during germination, by measuring the primary root length (PRL) and the number of seminal roots (NSR). To determine the complexity of the primary root system seed of a genetically highly diverse set of maize inbred lines
(N=50) were germinated for six days. Subsequently, the embryogenic root systems were imaged, the image processed, and analyzed for their PRL and NSR. The maize inbred lines significantly (P<0.05) differed for PRL and NSR revealing a strong genetic basis for both traits. Interestingly, we showed that inbred line geographic origin and breeding program explained a significant part of the diversity for root complexity within the diverse set of maize inbreds.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Nalysha Torres, Tony Grift, Martin Bohn

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