Phenotyping tomato root developmental plasticity in response to salinity in soil rhizotrons

Jacinto Gandullo, Safarina Ahmad, Essam Darwish, Rumyana Karlova, Christa Testerink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Plants have developed multiple strategies to respond to salt stress. In order to identify new traits related to salt tolerance, with potential breeding application, the research focus has recently been shifted to include root system architecture (RSA) and root plasticity. Using a simple but effective root phenotyping system containing soil (rhizotrons), RSA of several tomato cultivars and their response to salinity was investigated. We observed a high level of root plasticity of tomato seedlings under salt stress. The general root architecture was substantially modified in response to salt, especially with respect to position of the lateral roots in the soil. At the soil surface, where salt accumulates, lateral root emergence was most strongly inhibited. Within the set of tomato cultivars, H1015 was the most tolerant to salinity in both developmental stages studied. A significant correlation between several root traits and aboveground growth parameters was observed, highlighting a possible role for regulation of both ion content and root architecture in salt stress resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2760532
JournalPlant Phenomics
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021


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