Genetic Control of Root System Development in Maize

Trends Plant Sci. 2018 Jan;23(1):79-88. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.10.004. Epub 2017 Nov 20.


The maize root system comprises structurally and functionally different root types. Mutant analyses have revealed that root-type-specific genetic regulators intrinsically determine the maize root system architecture. Molecular cloning of these genes has demonstrated that key elements of auxin signal transduction, such as LOB domain (LBD) and Aux/IAA proteins, are instrumental for seminal, shoot-borne, and lateral root initiation. Moreover, genetic analyses have demonstrated that genes related to exocytotic vesicle docking, cell wall loosening, and cellulose synthesis and organization control root hair elongation. The identification of upstream regulators, protein interaction partners, and downstream targets of these genes together with cell-type-specific transcriptome analyses have provided novel insights into the regulatory networks controlling root development and architecture in maize.

Keywords: auxin signaling; maize; mutants; root hair elongation; root types.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Zea mays / genetics
  • Zea mays / growth & development*


  • Plant Proteins