Research Topic

Roots – the hidden provider

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Roots have a variety of functions, ranging from anchoring plants in the soil via storing products of photosynthesis to the vital uptake of water and nutrients. In most plants they are hidden underground. Nevertheless, they can reach total lengths of several kilometers and develop up to millions of branch ...

Roots have a variety of functions, ranging from anchoring plants in the soil via storing products of photosynthesis to the vital uptake of water and nutrients. In most plants they are hidden underground. Nevertheless, they can reach total lengths of several kilometers and develop up to millions of branch roots.

Roots form the main entrance for macro- and micronutrients into the plant. A comprehensive transport machinery exists that allows their uptake. Ion channels and transporters enable passive and active ion and ion-ligand uptake for a great range of concentrations. Plants even developed mechanisms to increase the availability of nutrients in the soil by inducing i.e. pH changes, chelate release for metal ion binding or changes in the root architecture. Thereby, the concentration and accessibility of ions in the soil is crucial for plant health. Low concentrations might impair plant development, while ion excess, especially of metal ions and sodium, might result in toxic ion quantities within the plant that cause damage.

This Research Topic aims to link and summarize present knowledge on the vast system of nutrition uptake and transport processes occurring in plant roots. Moreover, it focuses on methods enabling the description and connection of nutritional signalling pathways to draw a broader picture of root transport processes and their implications on the plant architecture. This Topic shall cover aspects related to the beneficial use of ions that is required for proper plant development as well as aspects related to consequences arising by ion excess, i.e. under saline or high metal conditions. Original research articles dealing with the uptake and transport of ions within roots, ion processing as well as implications of ion starvation or excess supply within the plant are welcome. Furthermore, we encourage authors to summarize and review present knowledge on nutrient treatment within roots and discuss recent methods that aim to link nutrient signalling pathways to improve the broader understanding of their mutual interactions within this plant tissue.


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