Plant and Soil

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 147–154 | Cite as

A simulation model of the three-dimensional architecture of the maize root system

  • L. Pagès
  • M. O. Jordan
  • D. Picard


In order to study the nutrient and water uptake of rootsin situ, we need a quantitative three-dimensional dynamic model of the root system architecture.

The present model takes into account current observations on the morphogenesis of the maize root system. It describes the root system as a set of root axes, characterised by their orders and their inter-node of origin. The evolution of the simulated pattern is achieved by three processes, occuring at each time step: emission of new primary root axes from the shoot, growth and branching of existing root axes. The elongation of an axis depends on its order, inter-node and local growing conditions. Branches appear acropetally at a specified distance from the apex and from former branches, along ranks facing xylem poles, with a branching angle specific to their order and inter-node.

From the three-dimensional branched patterns simulated by the model, various outputs, such as root profiles or cross-section maps can be computed, compared to observed data and used as inputs in uptake models. A number of examples of such possible outputs are presented.

Key words

architecture maize mathematical model root growth root development simulation model spatial distribution Zea mays 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Pagès
    • 1
  • M. O. Jordan
    • 1
  • D. Picard
    • 2
  1. 1.Station d'Agronomie, Domaine S′-PaulINRAMontfavetFrance
  2. 2.Département d'AgronomieINRAThiverval-GrignonFrance

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