Crop root system architecture in drought response

J Genet Genomics. 2024 May 7:S1673-8527(24)00100-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jgg.2024.05.001. Online ahead of print.


Drought is a natural disaster that has a profound impact on global agricultural production, significantly reduces crop yields and thereby poses a severe threat to worldwide food security. Addressing the challenge of effectively improving crop drought resistance (DR) to mitigate yield loss under drought conditions is a global issue. An optimal root system architecture (RSA) plays a pivotal role in enhancing crops' capacity to efficiently uptake water and nutrients, which consequently strengthens their resilience against environmental stresses. In this review, we discuss the compositions and roles of crop RSA and summarize the most recent developments in augmenting drought tolerance in crops by manipulating RSA-related genes. Based on current research, we propose the potential optimal RSA configuration that could be helpful in enhancing crop DR. Lastly, we discussed the existing challenges and future directions for breeding crops with enhanced DR capabilities through genetic improvements targeting RSA.

Keywords: crop; drought resistance; genetic improvement; root system architecture.

Publication types

  • Review