The Role of Plant Roots in Crop Production: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Role of Plant Roots in Crop Production

1st Edition

By Nand Kumar Fageria

CRC Press

467 pages | 159 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439867372
pub: 2012-07-23
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The Role of Plant Roots in Crop Production presents the state of knowledge on environmental factors in root growth and development and their effect on the improvement of the yield of annual crops. This book addresses the role of roots in crop production and includes references to numerous annual crops. In addition, it brings together the issues and the state-of-the-art technologies that affect root growth, with comprehensive reviews to facilitate efficient, sustainable, economical, and environmentally responsible crop production.

Written for plant scientists, crop scientists, horticulturalists, and soil scientists,plant physiologists, breeders, environmental scientists, agronomists, and undergraduate and graduate students in different disciplines of agricultural science, The Role of Plant Roots in Crop Production:

  • Addresses root architecture and development dynamics to help users improve crop productivity
  • Emphasizes crop production, plant nutrition, and soil chemistry relative to root growth and functions
  • Covers root morphology, root functions, nutrient and water uptake by roots, root-soil interactions, root-environment interactions, root-microbe interactions, physiology of root crops, and management practices to improve root growth
  • Supports content with experimental results, and additional data is presented with pictures

Increasing food production worldwide has become a major issue in the 21st century. Stagnation in grain yield of important food crops in recent years in developed, as well as developing, countries has contributed to a sharp increase in food prices. Furthermore, higher grain yield will be needed in the future to feed a burgeoning world population with a rising standard of living that requires more grain per capita. Technologies that enhance productivity, ensure environmental safety, and conserve natural resources are required to meet this challenge.

Table of Contents

Types of Plant Roots, Their Measurements, and Associations with Yield

Roots of Cereals, Legumes, and Grasses

Root-to-Shoot Ratio

Contribution of Root, Shoot, and Grain in the Total Plant Weight

Root Length

Specific Root Length

Root Dry Weight

Surface Area

Root Depth and Density

Root Development Relative to Plant Growth Stage

Crop Yield versus Root Growth

Uptake of Nutrients by Roots

Forms of Absorption and Functions of Essential Nutrients in Plants

Nutrient-Deficiency/Sufficiency Diagnostic Techniques

Uptake of Nutrients by Crop Plants

Nutrient Interaction

Nutrient Use Efficiency

Mechanisms Involved in Nutrient Uptake and Use Efficiency

Role of Crops in Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency under Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Breeding for Nutrient Use Efficiency

Nutrient Requirements of Conventional and Transgenic Plants

Absorption of Water by Roots

Water Requirement of Annual Crops

Estimating Crop Water Use

Water Use Efficiency in Crop Plants

Importance of Water to Mineral Nutrition of Crop Plants

Water Deficits versus Salinity

Water Deficits versus Soil Microbiology


Management Strategies for Reducing Drought

Rhizosphere Chemistry

Effect of Oxygen on Root Growth

Physical, Chemical, and Biological Changes

The Rhizosphere Chemistry of Flooded Rice


Rice Ecosystems

Type of Soils Used for Lowland Rice Cultivation

Physical, Biological, and Chemical Changes in the Flooded or Submerged Soils

Mycorrhizal Associations in the Rhizosphere

Taxonomy and Biology of Mycorrhizal Fungi

Factors Affecting Mycorrhizal Colonization

Benefits of Mycorrhizal Fungi

Use of Mycorrhizae in the Cropping Systems

Effects of Mineral Nutrition on Root Growth of Crop Plants



Ecophysiology of Major Root Crops

Sugar Beet


Sweet Potato


Management Strategies for Maximizing Root Systems

Optimizing Soil Physical Properties

Optimizing Soil Chemical Properties

Optimizing Soil Biological Properties

Optimizing Cultural Practices

Breeding Crop Varieties for Better Root Systems

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General