Super excited the first review of the lab was just published in Journal of Experimental Botany. Very proud of Kevin Daniel for doing all the hard work on his first paper, and ofcourse the result! We discuss the regulation of adaptive root responses / architectural changes to flooding.
We emphasize that soil and root oxygen dynamics are highly variable and dependent on a myriad of internal and external factors, but are typically (highly) hypoxic. Still most roots are fine with this, until they are submerged and the oxygen levels further drop....
Plant roots can use the flooding signals ethylene and hypoxia to metabolically prolong hypoxia survival, but also to avoid critically low hypoxic zones by altering root extension, lateral root formation and bending upward.
Until now, the vast majority of experimental data regarding root adaptation to hypoxia is based on vitro work on agar plates, and has been highly illuminating and massively increased our unsterstanding of how roots respond to flooding signals, and can survive hypoxia.
However, >99.9% of roots never grow at atmospheric O2 levels (like on agar plates), so it would be highly beneficial to now test which of the major discoveries still hold true in actual soil. This is challenging, but we propose options such as rhizotrons to consider in the future. Check it out here!