Through form to function: root hair development and nutrient uptake

Trends Plant Sci. 2000 Feb;5(2):56-60. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(99)01551-4.


Root hairs project from the surface of the root to aid nutrient and water uptake and to anchor the plant in the soil. Their formation involves the precise control of cell fate and localized cell growth. We are now beginning to unravel the complexities of the molecular interactions that underlie this developmental regulation. In addition, after years of speculation, nutrient transport by root hairs has been demonstrated clearly at the physiological and molecular level, with evidence for root hairs being intense sites of H(+)-ATPase activity and involved in the uptake of Ca(2+), K(+), NH(4)(+), NO(3)(-), Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Cl(-) and H(2)PO(4)(-).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / metabolism*


  • Nitrogen