Designer roots for drought resistant plants

Custom designing plant roots could point the way to greater drought resistant crops.

Root systems are critical to water capture but they are often ignored because they are difficult to study.

Researchers have found that the angle at which roots strike out from their first branch point indicates the shape and function of the whole system. This “nodal root angle” is under genetic control and University of Queensland’s Dr Vijaya Singh has located the controlling genetic region.

“This could provide farmers with better grain yields, particularly in extreme drought years,” she said.

Read more at The University of Queensland