Roots are generally subject to more abiotic stress than shoots. Therefore, they can be affected by such stresses as much as, or even more, than above ground parts of a plant. However, the effect of abiotic stresses on root structure and development has been significantly less studied than above ground parts of plants due to limited availability for root observations. Roots have functions such as connecting the plant to the environment in which it grows, uptaking water and nutrients and carrying them to the above-ground organs of the plant, secreting certain hormones and organic compounds, and thus ensuring the usefulness of nutrients in the nutrient solution. Roots also send some hormonal signals to the body in stress conditions such as drought, nutrient deficiencies, salinity, to prevent the plant from being damaged, and ensure that the above-ground part takes the necessary precautions to adapt to these adverse conditions. Salinity, drought, radiation, high and low temperatures, heavy metals, flood, and nutrient deficiency are abiotic stress factors and they negatively affect plant growth, productivity and quality. Given the fact that impending climate change increases the frequency, duration, and severity of stress conditions, these negative effects are estimated to increase. This book chapter reviews to show how abiotic stress conditions affect growth, physiological, biochemical and molecular characteristics of plant roots.
Part of the book: Plant Roots