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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Minirhizotron Wheat Root Data: Comparisons to Soil Core Root Data


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 85 No. 5, p. 1058-1060
    Received: Aug 19, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. J. E. Box Jr.  and
  2. E. L. Ramsuer
  1. U SDA-ARS, P.O. Box 555, Watkinsville, GA 30677
    R amseur formerly Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Georgia, Georgia Station, Griffin, GA 30223-1797



A nondestructive, quick, and efficient root measurement technique that quantifies root dynamics is critical to understanding environmental effects on rooting. The objective of this study was to compare roots of three cultivars of soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) observed in minirhizotron with those washed from soil cores. Minirhizotron determinations were root count (Ca, count cm−2) and root length (La, cm cm−2) per unit area; soil core determinations were root length (Lv, cm cm−3) and root dry weight (Wv, mg cm−3) per unit volume. Growth stages studied were double ridge, early boot, milk, and soft dough. Analysis of variance showed that growth stage and soil depth were significant for Lv, Wv, Ca and La. Cultivar was significant at early boot and milk growth stages for Ca. Linear regression of Lv, Wv or La as a function of Ca provided highly significant slope and,except for Wv, intercept values. Statistically, Ca was the most discriminating minirhizotron measurement parameter.

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