Growth is required for perception of water availability to pattern plant root branches

Plant roots develop on a very heterogeneous environment surrounded by a myriad of environmental clues that can change at different spatiotemporal scales. The ability of roots to sense and respond to these clues is fundamental to ensure an efficient exploration of the rhizosphere. In this paper, Robbins and Dinneny show that root growth is necessary for roots to be able to sense microenvironments with different levels of water availability. This growth-by-sense mechanism is fundamental to then initiate the lateral root branching into soil areas with high water content. The authors developed a regression model and an associated application where different parameters involved in this process can be changed to simulate lateral root emergence patterns. (Summary by Rubén Rellán-Álverez) BioRxiv