Importance of root senescence in crop plant performance

Zhaojun Liu, Esin Tunc

Aging-related studies in plant roots have mostly described changes in individual root properties over time, such as root browning or the degeneration of indvidual cell layers. To reveal a comprehensive picture of root senescence, we investigated morphological, physiological and molecular traits in seminal roots of hydroponically-grown barley plants. Transcriptome and phytohormone analyses were separately conducted in basal versus apical root tissues to distinguish the impact of plant age versus tissue age on the initiation and progression of aging-related processes in roots. Our data now allow describing a chronological sequence of morphological and physiological processes and regulatiory events underlying senescence of seminal roots in barley. Currently, we verify transcriptional regulators of root senescence in transgenic approaches to finally investigate the impact of root senescence on crop plant performance.