Crops roots use different strategies to respond to warm temperature

Elevated growth temperatures are negatively affecting crop productivity by increasing yield losses. The modulation of root traits associated with improved response to rising temperatures are a promising approach to generate new varieties better suited to face the environmental constraints caused by climate change. In this study, we identified several Brassica napus root traits altered in response to warm ambient temperature. Different combinations of changes in specific root traits result in an extended and deeper root system. This overall root growth expansion facilitates root response by maximizing root-soil surface interaction and increasing their ability to explore extended soil areas. We associated these traits to coordinated cellular events, including changes in cell division and elongation rates that drive root growth increases triggered by warm temperature. Comparative transcriptomic analysis revealed the main genetic determinants of these root system architecture (RSA) changes and uncovered the necessity of a tight regulation of the heat shock stress response to adjust root growth to warm temperature. Our work provides a phenotypic, cellular and genetic framework of root response to warming temperatures that will help to harness root response mechanisms for crop yield improvement under the future climatic scenario.


Original Paper:

Boter, M., Pozas, J., Jarillo, J.A., Piñeiro, M., Pernas, M. 2023. Brassica napus Roots Use Different Strategies to Respond to Warm Temperatures. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 24,1143. DOI: 10.3390/ijms24021143