The exploring root--root growth responses to local environmental conditions

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2009 Dec;12(6):766-72. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2009.08.002. Epub 2009 Sep 25.


Because of their sessile lifestyle, the areas which plants can access to forage for resources are confined to those which can be explored by growth. High sensitivity to environmental conditions coupled to the appropriate readjustment of growth and developmental responses are thus critical to plant survival. In this review, we focus on how roots perceive physical cues such as soil water status and mechanical properties and translate them into physiological signals to redirect organ growth and modulate root system architecture. Because the precise molecular identity of most of the sensors used by the root to sample the soil environment remain to be determined, the mechanisms underlying similar processes in microbes are providing important models for how these receptor systems may be functioning in plants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Environment*
  • Mechanoreceptors / metabolism
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Soil*
  • Water / metabolism*


  • Calcium Channels
  • Soil
  • Water