Root tip shape governs root elongation rate under increased soil strength

We live at a time of unprecedented insights into root anatomy, diversity, plasticity, and the genetic underpinnings of these traits. Colombi et al. examined how wheat root tip shape contributes to soil penetration and the root’s response to increasing soil density. Not surprisingly, pointier roots (with a lower ratio of tip diameter to tip length) penetrate soils more effectively than blunter roots. The authors also observed genotypic differences in root tip shape and root elongation rate, and responses to increasing soli density. These results provide another selectable root trait for future breeding projects. Plant Physiol. 10.​1104/​pp.​17.​00357