Adaptive significance of the relation between root and shoot growth

Gadgil, Madhav ; Gadgil, Sulochana (1979) Adaptive significance of the relation between root and shoot growth Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, 61 . pp. 25-40. ISSN 0970-4140

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The partitioning of dry matter between the root and shoot tissues of a plant is regulated piecisely at a constant value for a given genotype under specified enviionmental conditions. But individuals of different species or of the same species under different enviionmental conditions show characteristic variation in the root-to-shoot ratio. We postulate that this latio is ultimately regulated not by competition between root and shoot of a plant, but by considerations maintenance of a proper balance between the functions of root and shoot of an integrated whole plant such that the net carbon fixation by the plant is maximised. A theoretical analysis of this problem shows that under certain conditions the root-to-shoot ratio would be expected to decrease for plants growing under better lighted or more arid conditions, in contradiction to the usually observed and expected trends. A simple mathematical model of the phenomenon is presented which delineates the critical parameters of the system and generates several testable predictions. For example, it is predicted that if the root-to-shoot ratio increases under conditions of greater availability of light, then the cost of maintenance and replacement of unit shoot tissue will be smaller than that for root tissue.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to The Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Keywords:Root-to-shoot Ratio; Resource Allocation; Phenotype Strategies
ID Code:64204
Deposited On:05 Oct 2011 10:36
Last Modified:18 May 2016 12:41

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