VERNALIZATION1 modulates root system architecture in wheat and barley

Root angle determines the rooting depth and was recently associated with the VERNALIZATION1 locus. Using hexaploid wheat, Voss-Fels et al. mapped the root angle to the locus encoding the MADS-box transcription factor, which was previously associated with flowering time. The group found that the lines carrying spring allele of VRN1 produced deeper roots and had a lower root-to-shoot ratio. The spring allele of VRN1 located on B-subgenome was found to have strongest phenotypic effect. The spring VRN1 in barley was also observed to enhance deeper root development, especially during the grain filling stage. At the whole root system level, VRN1 was observed to be independent of DEEPER-ROOTING1 and auxin signaling. The VRN1-dependent mechanisms that regulate above- and below-ground plant architecture remain to be identified in future studies. (Summary by Magdalena Julkowska). Mol. Plant 10.1016/j.molp.2017.10.005