Root Enhancement for Crop Improvement
Plant roots perform many essential functions. Size and architecture of the root system determine the ability to access resources and thus productivity of the whole plant. Therefore optimized root system architecture is relevant in order to overcome yield limitations in crop plants caused by shortages in water or nutrients.
The objective of this project is to explore and develop an alternative approach for root enhancement by understanding the regulation of root architecture by cytokinin and miRNAs. The role of nitrate and phosphate in determining root growth and architecture will be analyzed in this regard.
An imaging based approach on Arabidopsis and barley cytokinin mutants will be developed to elucidate root growth traits at high throughput and evaluate their relevance for field experiments.
Different technologies will be applied as optical imaging, tomography, MRI and simulation methods to study and model interactions between root system architecture and the changing environment.