Phenomics of root system architecture: Measuring and analyzing root phenes 

By Larry York and Guillaume Lobet 

One of roots’ key roles is to secure access to water and nutrients for the plant, often in a highly heterogeneous and challenging environment. To cope with such function, root systems have evolved as highly plastic, responsive and diverse organs. However, due to technical constraints, root research has long been stuck in its infancy. This teaching tool discusses the relatively young field of root system architecture quantification. It introduces the concepts of phenes (like genes, but referring to the phenotype), and architectural concepts including morphology, geometry, and topology. It concludes by discussing the practical considerations linked to the root system architecture quantification (including growth and sampling methods), and different data analysis methods. Posted September 20, 2017.