Quantifying how plant roots interact with soil phosphorus
The amount of phosphorus (P) in the soil that is available to plants is very low due to its high reactivity. Plant roots have therefore evolved several strategies to improve P capture. However, as soil is opaque, studying these properties and their potential benefits to crops within the soil environment is difficult. Furthermore, current knowledge is fragmented because studies have generally employed destructive sampling techniques, artificial media, and experimental setups making observations in 1D or 2D. The EU-funded RootOutP project will address this challenge by conducting in-situ visualisation and quantification in real soil, which will benefit plant breeders and agronomists developing crop systems that make better use of applied and accumulated soil P.