BREAD 2013

An investigation into the utility of anatomical root traits for drought tolerance yielded novel insights in maize physiology and high-throughput phenotyping.

Project highlights are provided by Khwan Patompong Johns Saengwilai, PhD, on RCA, and Joseph Chimungu, PhD candidate, on CCFN and cell size, advised by Dr. Jonathan Lynch and Dr. Kathleen Brown at Penn State University.

Root cortical aerenchyma was assessed for physiological utility in maize, and was found to promote root growth and increase stress tolerance.

Cortical cell file number and cell size may be important root traits for water and nutrient acquisition in maize.

Improving water acquisition in maize with root traits that reduce the metabolic cost of soil exploration. This project received funding from NSF BREAD (Basic Research to Enhance Agricultural Development) in 2011, 2012 and 2013.