Stop Rooting Around for the Answer to Bigger Plants!

via Eurekalert.org:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-06/sfeb-wbp062712.php

Want bigger plants? Get to the root of the matter.

Plant scientists have imaged and analyzed, for the first time, how a potted plant’s roots are arranged in the soil as the plant develops. In this study, to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on 30th June, the team has also found that doubling plant pot size makes plants grow over 40% larger.

From their 3-D MRI root scans, the researchers observed that potted plants quickly extend their roots to the pot’s walls. It is likely that the plants use their roots to ‘sense’ the size of the pot, although the details of how the roots relay the message about the pot’s size remain the plants’ secret.

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