GRANAR, a new computational tool to better understand the functional importance of root anatomy (bioRxiv)

Uptake of water by plants depends on root conductivity, which in turn is determined by hydraulic properties of individual cells and cell anatomy. Quantification of radial root anatomy is a time-consuming process, limiting our understanding of root anatomical features contributing to water uptake. Heymans et al. developed a computational tool Generator of Root ANAtomy in R (GRANAR), which allows for accelerated digitalization of radial root anatomy. The authors successfully re-analyzed maize root anatomies, and by combining GRANAR with MECHA, the hydraulic properties of individual roots could be estimated. GRANAR also allowed predicting conductivity of theoretical root anatomies, revealing the importance of individual root anatomy features, such as cell size and apoplastic barriers. (Summary by Magdalena Julkowska) bioRxiv 10.1101/645036