Triggering root system plasticity in a changing environment with bacterial bioinoculants – Focus on plant P nutrition

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


To improve the sustainability of agricultural systems, an efficient use of resources such as phosphorus (P) nutrients is necessary. To reach this goal, the development of more resilient crop varieties able to cope with heterogeneous soil conditions in space and time is a promising strategy. Plants face many stresses in their natural environment and can respond to them by adjusting their phenotype (phenotypic plasticity). Integrating plastic root system traits into breeding strategies may help reach acceptable yields in low-input systems by enhancing water and nutrient uptake, thus reducing resource inputs in conventional farming systems. Bacterial bioinoculants, also considered to be a class of biostimulants, have shown great potential to increase the nutrient use efficiency of plants through diverse strategies including the modulation of root system plasticity. However, the study of plant plasticity can be challenging, particularly regarding the root system. This paper aims to encourage the integration of bioinoculants into the study of root system plasticity in response to P deficiency. We first focus on the plasticity of root architectural traits in a P-limiting context and on how bioinoculants can modulate root system plasticity and enhance P use efficiency. Then, important methodological points of attention to consider for the study of root system plasticity are highlighted.

ZeitschriftPlant and Soil
Anzahl der Seiten15
PublikationsstatusAngenommen/Im Druck - 2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
This research was supported by internal research funds from the University of Liège (Belgium). BMD acknowledges funding from the German Research Foundation (project 470604360). The authors are thankful to Marcus Griffiths (Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri, USA) and Maria C. Hernandez-Soriano (John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK) for commenting earlier versions of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.