Plant and Soil

, Volume 189, Issue 1, pp 33–48

Architecture and development of the oil-palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) root system

  • Christophe Jourdan
  • Hervé Rey

DOI: 10.1023/A:1004290024473

Cite this article as:
Jourdan, C. & Rey, H. Plant and Soil (1997) 189: 33. doi:10.1023/A:1004290024473


The growth dynamics and architecture of the oil-palm root system are described. Following a transitional juvenile phase, eight different morphological types of roots have been distinguished according to their development pattern and state of differentiation: primary vertical and horizontal roots, secondary horizontal roots, upward growing secondary vertical roots and downward growing secondary vertical roots, superficial and deep tertiary roots and quaternary roots. The relative position of these types of roots determines a morphological and functional unit of the root system called 'root architectural unit' of the oil palm. This root polymorphism enabled us to define a morphogenetic gradient, which reflected the oil-palm root-system ontogenesis.

development Elaeis guineensis growth oil palm root architecture root system 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Jourdan
    • 1
  • Hervé Rey
    • 1
  1. 1.Département des Cultures Pérennes et Unité de Modélisation des Plantes, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD)Montpellier Cedex 1France

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