Christopher Strock, Ph.D.

Christopher Strock, Ph.D.

222 Tyson Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802



  • Ph.D. Plant Biology, The Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, Penn State University (2013-2019)
  • B.S. Biology, B.S. Environmental Studies, Gettysburg College (2009-2013)


I investigate architectural and anatomical root traits in legumes ( Phaseolus sp.) and maize ( Zea mays ) and their integrated effect on water and nutrient acquisition using field, greenhouse, and laboratory physiology techniques. Root traits of research interest can improve crop yield under stress by increasing the metabolic e fficiency of soil exploration and by placing roots in soil domains where limiting resources are most available.


Strock CF , Schneider HM. Root Phenes for Improving Nutrient Capture in Low Fertility Environments. In: Goldman I, ed. Plant Breeding Reviews, Vol. 46. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. In press.

Strock CF , Rangarajan H, Black CK, Schafer ED, Lynch JP (2021) Theoretical evidence the root penetration ability interacts with soil compaction regimes to affect nitrate capture. Annals of Botany. In press.

Lynch JP, Mooney SJ, Strock CF , Schneider HM (2021) Future Roots for Future Soils. Plant, Cell & Environment, In press .

Saengwilai P, Strock CF , Rangarajan H, Chimungu J, Salungyu J, Lynch JP (2021) Root hair phenotypes influence nitrogen acquisition in maize. Annals of Botany, 128: 849-858.

Lynch JP, Strock CF , Schneider HM, Sidhu JS, Ajmera I, Galindo-Castañeda T, Klein SP, Hanlon MT (2021) Root Anatomy and Soil Resource Capture. Plant and Soil, 466: 21-63.

Schneider HM, Strock CF , Hanlon MT, Vanhees DJ, Perkins AC, Ajmera IB, Sidhu JS, Mooney SJ, Brown KM, Lynch JP (2021) Multiseriate cortical sclerenchyma enhance root penetration in compacted soils. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118: e2012087118.

Levin KA, Tucker MR, Strock CF , Lynch JP, Mather DE (2021) Three-dimensional imaging reveals differences in the position of cyst nematode feeding sites relative to xylem vessels in susceptible and resistant wheat. Plant Cell Reports, 40: 393-403.

Strock CF , Burridge JD, Niemiec MD, Brown KM, Lynch JP (2021) Root metaxylem and root architecture phenotypes interact to regulate water use under drought stress. Plant, Cell & Environment, 44: 49-67.

Jochua CN, Strock CF , Lynch JP (2020) Root phenotypic diversity in common bean ( Phaseolus vulgaris L.) reveals contrasting strategies for soil resource acquisition among gene pools and races. Crop Science, 60: 3261-3277.

Strock CF , Lynch JP (2020) Root Secondary Growth: An Unexplored Component of Soil Resource Acquisition. Annals of Botany, 126: 205-218 .

Strock CF , Schneider HM, Galindo-Castaneda T, Hall BT, Van Gansbeke B, Mather DE, Roth MG, Chilvers MI, Guo X, Brown KB, Lynch JP (2019) Laser ablation tomography for visualization of root colonization by edaphic organisms. Journal of Experimental Botany, 70: 5327-5342 .

Strock CF , Burridge J, Massas ASF, Beaver J, Beebe S, Camilo SA, Fourie D, Jochua C, Miguek M, Miklas PN, Mndolwa E, Nchimbi-Msolla S, Polania J, Porch TG, Rosas JC, Trapp JJ, Lynch JP (2019) Seedling Root Architecture and its Relationship With Seed Yield Across Diverse Environments in Phaseolus vulgaris. Field Crops Research, 237: 53-64

Strock CF , de la Riva LM, Lynch JP (2018) Reduction in Root Secondary Growth as a Strategy for Phosphorus Acquisition. Plant Physiology 176: 691-703

Olson-Manning CF, Strock CF , Mitchell-Olds T (2015) Flux Control in a Defense Pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana Is Robust to Environmental Perturbations and Controls Variation in Adaptive Traits. G3-Genes Genomes Genetics 5: 2421-2427



Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils-

Thicker roots: to grow or not to grow? Investigating the dynamics of secondary root growth-

Novel use of laser technology reveals interactions between roots, soil organisms -

Root discovery may lead to crops that need less fertilizer-


Christopher Strock, PhD