Plant and Soil

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 27–35 | Cite as

The response of maize radicle orientation to soil solution and soil atmosphere

  • J. W. Yčas
  • R. W. Zobel


Earlier reports suggest that the orientation of larger roots of maize is to some extent determined by the soil environment, especially water content and texture. Experiments were performed to determine the direct effect of soil water potential, macronutrient concentration, and concentration of oxygen, carbon dioxide, ethylene and nitrous oxide on the plagiotropic orientation of maize radicles. Only carbon dioxide produced a large change, causing roots to orient less vertically downward. However, the concentration necessary to produce a large effect on root angle is greater than theoretical or observed values for aerobic soils. It is concluded that the radicle orientation of maize is not significantly influenced by chemical or atmospheric stimuli under field conditions, and that variations observed must be attributable to the effects of soil temperature16 or the effects of soil mechanical properties.

Key words

Carbon dioxide Geotropism Maize Roots Soil aeration Zea mays 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Yčas
    • 1
  • R. W. Zobel
    • 2
  1. 1.Agronomy DepartmentCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARS and Agronomy DepartmentCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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