Plant Roots : The Hidden Half, Fourth Edition book cover
4th Edition

Plant Roots
The Hidden Half, Fourth Edition

ISBN 9781439846483
Published April 17, 2013 by CRC Press
848 Pages - 246 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The decade since the publication of the third edition of this volume has been an era of great progress in biology in general and the plant sciences in particular. This is especially true with the advancements brought on by the sequencing of whole genomes of model organisms and the development of "omics" techniques. This fourth edition of Plant Roots: The Hidden Half reflects these developments that have transformed not only the field of biology, but also the many facets of root science.

Highlights of this new edition include:

  • The basics of root research and their evolution and role in the global context of soil development and atmosphere composition
  • New understandings about roots gained in the post-genomic era, for example, how the development of roots became possible, and the genetic basis required for this to occur
  • The mechanisms that determine root structure, with chapters on cellular patterning, lateral root and vascular development, the molecular basis of adventitious roots, and other topics
  • Plant hormone action and signaling pathways that control root development, including new chapters on strigolactones and brassinosteroids
  • Soil resource acquisition from agricultural and ecological perspectives
  • Root response to stress, with chapters that address the impact of the genomic revolution on this topic
  • Root-rhizosphere interactions, from beneficial microorganisms to detrimental nematodes
  • Modern research techniques for the field and the lab

Each chapter not only presents a clear summation of the topic under discussion, but also includes a vision of what is to be expected in the years to come. The wide coverage of themes in this volume continues the tradition that makes this work recognized as a fundamental source of information for root scientists at all levels.

Table of Contents

The Evolution and Genomics of Roots
The Origin of Roots; Paul Kenrick
Root; Jaimie M. Van Norman, Louisa M. Liberman, and Philip N. Benfey
Root Structure
Cellular Patterning of the Root Meristem; Kimberly L. Gallagher
Cellular Patterning in the Root Epidermis; Yana M. Wieckowski and John Schiefelbein
Structure and Function of Three Suberized Cell Layers; Chris J. Meyer and Carol A. Peterson
Lateral Root Development; Leentje Jansen, Marlies Demeulenaere, and Tom Beeckman
Vascular Development in Arabidopsis Roots; Anthony Bishopp, Sedeer El-Showk, and Ykä Helariutta
Secondary Growth of Tree Roots; Nigel Chaffey
Rice : A Model Plant to Decipher the Hidden Origin of Adventitious Roots; Yoan Coudert, Van Anh Le Thi, and Pascal Gantet
Genetic Analysis of Maize Root Development; Frank Hochholdinger and Guenter Feix
Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Adventitious Root Formation; Joseph Riov, David Szwerdszarf, Mohamad Abu-Abied, and Einat Sadot
Regulation of Root Growth
Auxin Signaling in Primary Roots; Catherine Perrot-Rechenmann
Role of Gibberellins in Root Growth; Eiichi Tanimoto and Ko Hirano
Molecular Basis of Cytokinin Action during Root Development; Serena Perilli, Laila Moubayidin, and Sabrina Sabatini
Ethylene Regulates Root Growth and Development; Daniel R. Lewis and Gloria K. Muday
Abscisic Acid in Root Growth and Development; Ive De Smet and Hanma Zhang
Brassinosteroid Signaling in Root Development; Josep Vilarrasa-Blasi, Mary-Paz González-García, and Ana I. Caño-Delgado
Role of Strigolactones in Root Development and Communication; Hinanit Koltai
Root Gravitropism; Ranjan Swarup, Darren M. Wells, and Malcolm J. Bennett
Calcium: From Root Macronutrient to Mechanical Signal; Sarah Swanson and Simon Gilroy
Soil Resource Acquisition
Root-Based Solutions to Increasing Crop Productivity; Michelle Watt, Anton P. Wasson, and Vincent Chochois
Root Architecture and Resource Acquisition; Ahmad M. Manschadi, Günther G.B. Manske, and Paul L.G. Vlek
Root pH Regulation; Jóska Gerendás and R. George Ratcliffe
Root Water Uptake and Water Flow in the Soil–Root Domain; Guillaume Lobet, Charles Hachez, François Chaumont, Mathieu Javaux, and Xavier Draye
Inorganic Nitrogen Acquisition and Signaling; Alain Gojon
Nutrient Uptake and Root System Architecture Modeling; Moshe Silberbush, Amram Eshel, and Jonathan P. Lynch
Global Change and Root Lifespan; David M. Eissenstat, M. Luke McCormack, and Quanying Du
Developmental Adaptations in Roots of Desert Plants with Special Emphasis on Cacti; Joseph G. Dubrovsky and Svetlana Shishkova
Root Systems of Woody Plants; Frédéric Danjon, Alexia Stokes, and Mark R. Bakker
Roots as a Source of Food; Daniel F. Austin and Robert Jarret
Root Response to Stress
Temperature Effects on Root Growth; Marc Faget, Stephan Blossfeld, Siegfried Jahnke, Gregor Huber, Ulrich Schurr, and Kerstin A. Nagel
Flooding Tolerance Mechanisms in Roots; Kurt V. Fagerstedt, Olga B. Blokhina, Chiara Pucciariello, and Pierdomenico Perata
Plant Roots under Aluminum Stress; Hideaki Matsumoto and Yoko Yamamoto
Root Responses to Trace Metallic Elements; Nathalie Verbruggen and Christian Hermans
Maintaining Root Growth in Drying Soil; Eric S. Ober and Robert E. Sharp
Effects of Salinity on Root Growth; Nirit Bernstein
Soil Mechanical Resistance and Root Growth and Function; W. Richard Whalley and A. Glyn Bengough
Root–Rhizosphere Interactions
Fungal Root Endophytes; Thomas N. Sieber and Christoph R. Grünig
Molecular Physiology of Tree Ectomycorrhizal Interactions; Mohammad Tanbir Habib, Till Heller, and Andrea Polle
Mycorrhizae—Rhizosphere Determinants of Plant Communities; Ingrid Kottke amd Gábor M. Kovács
Response of Soybean Roots to Soybean Cyst Nematode at the Molecular Levell; Benjamin F. Matthews, Heba M.M. Ibrahim, Parsa Hosseini, Nadim Alkharouf, and Savithiry Natarajan
Modern Research Techniques
Minirhizotron Techniques; Boris Rewald and Jhonathan E. Ephrath
Noninvasive Tools for Measuring Metabolism and Biophysical Analyte Transport at the Root–Rhizosphere Interface; Eric S. McLamore and D. Marshall Porterfield

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Amram Eshel was born and raised in Israel. He received his degrees from Tel Aviv University, where he was a member of the academic staff from 1980 until his retirement in 2012. During this time, he held short visiting appointments at Ohio Agricultural Research Center in Wooster, Ohio; Michigan State University; The Pennsylvania State University; CNRS at Gif-Sur-Yvette; and University of Western Australia. His main research interests are in the area of plant physiological ecology, especially as related to mineral nutrition and water relations. He is the manager of the Sarah Racine Root Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University.

Tom Beeckman studied botany at Ghent University in Belgium and, after performing postdoctoral research at the Molecular Genetics Department, became group leader of the Root Development Group at the Flanders Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) in 2001. In 2007, he became a professor at Ghent University, teaching plant developmental biology. He has devoted a considerable part of his research to understanding how cell division is integrated into plant developmental processes, especially during the branching of roots.


"…covers a broad range of topics that answer both fundamental and complex questions of plant root research."
South African Journal of Botany, 95 (2014)

Praise for previous editions:

"…a critical reference for anyone who is even peripherally interested in roots and root function….sufficiently comprehensive. …an excellent book….a must have for any collegiate library, and a critical reference for a serious root researcher."
Crop Science

"…the first attempt to summarize new findings concerning plant roots biology…very important."

"…an excellent reference…extensive and intensive in its coverage of plants roots…contains a wealth of significant literature."
Economic Botany

"The contents of this book represent the most comprehensive text on the root research literature available to date. …an accessible and valuable reference work…"
“It is in fact up-to-date and covers many more aspects than the ordinary plant scientist would normally consider. … The book gives a truly multidisciplinary view of the field. It is intended to challenge the reader to consider the most pressing problems in root research and to seek solutions for the future. … The book is suitable as reference for lectures, researchers and students. It is easy to read and is thought provoking. This book should be on the shelves of all teaching and research institution libraries.”
— Johanes Van Staden, Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in South African Journal of Botany, Issue 2, 2007