Engineering root architecture using a predictive integrative systems biology approach
This research aims to first identify the genes that regulate root architecture in the simple plant Arabidopsis thaliana, then use this information to manipulate equivalent genes in cereals, with the ultimate goal of altering their root architecture and improving nutrient use efficiency.
This ambitious programme of research relies on a new X-ray based technique—μCT—that can image the 3D arrangement of living roots in soil. We will use the μCT technique to identify Arabidopsis mutants (which lack a specific gene) with an altered arrangement of roots. This will enable us to pinpoint exactly which genes regulate root architecture. Identifying equivalent genes in cereal crops is relatively straight forward since barley and rice are distantly related to Arabidopsis. We will then use advanced genetic techniques to inactivate these barley and rice genes and then examine their consequences on root architecture and nutrient use efficiency.
Promising rice and barley lines will be made available to professional breeders at the International Rice Research Institute and the James Hutton Institute with the ultimate aim to introgress their modified root traits into elite crop varieties.
A monthly series of seminars from UK/overseas speakers covering a wide range of topics relevant to rhizosphere research will be held throughout the lifetime of the project to which all are welcome.
- Ute Voß, Michael H. Wilson, Kim Kenobi, , , , Mikaël Lucas, Kamal Swarup, , Tara J. Holman, Darren M. Wells, Benjamin Péret, Tatsuaki Goh, , T. Charlie Hodgman, , , , , , & Malcolm J. Bennett 2015 The circadian clock rephases during lateral root organ initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana Nature Communications 6 7641
- Michael P. Pound, Andrew P. French, Jonathan Atkinson, Darren M. Wells, Malcolm J. Bennett & Tony P. Pridmore 2013 RootNav: Navigating Images of Complex Root Architectures Plant Physiology 162 (4), 1802-1814
- Stefan Mairhofer, Susan Zappala, Saoirse Tracy, Craig Sturrock, Malcolm John Bennett, Sacha Jon Mooney & Tony Paul Pridmore 2013 Recovering complete plant root system architectures from soil via X-ray μ-Computed Tomography Plant Methods 9 (1), 8
- Daniela Dietrich, , , , Malcolm J. Bennett & 2013 Endodermal ABA Signaling Promotes Lateral Root Quiescence during Salt Stress in Arabidopsis Seedlings Available online before publication in The Plant Cell Online ,
- Andrew P French#, Michael H Wilson, Kim Kenobi, Daniela Dietrich, Ute Voß, Susana Úbeda-Tomás, Tony P Pridmore & Darren M Wells 2012 Identifying biological landmarks using a novel cell measuring image analysis tool: Cell-o-Tape Plant Methods 8 (1), 7