Light in the darkness: the influence of light quality on the development of plant roots

Changes in the light spectrum enable plants to sense when they are in danger of being overshadowed by the surrounding vegetation. They respond to this threat by rapidly growing upwards towards the light, while the growth of their roots actually decreases. Both of these changes reduce investments in the edible parts of plants. In this project, we will attempt to identify the nature of the signals sent from the shoot to the root, and to localize and identify those processes within plant roots that are affected by such signals. However, different root growth processes also influence one another. Accordingly, the researchers will combine experiments with mathematical models, to sort the wheat from the chaff and find out exactly what is going on.

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