Cotton is an important commercial crop grown in India. It occupies an area of about 12.7 million hectares and is grown both in irrigated as well as rainfed tracts. In such situations, roots are very important organ for plant growth and development, since they act as anchors, providing mechanical support, and chemical extractors for the growing plant. Root length density sets the proportion of water uptake both under wet conditions and dry soils. Cotton plants with efficient root system capture water and nutrients from soil having these features of longer tap root. It is widely accepted that breeding efforts on aboveground traits are not sufficient to the necessary yield advantage. Shifting the emphasis to analyzing the root system would provide an additional means to enhance yield under changing climatic condition. Belowground image analysis studies point to the importance of root system architecture for optimizing roots and rhizosphere dynamics for sustainable cotton production. In this review, we describe the cotton root biological context in which root-environment interactions providing an overview of the root growth morphology species wise, phytohormone action that control root growth, root anatomical significance in drying soils, biotic and abiotic stresses involved in controlling root growth and environmental responses.
Part of the book: Plant Roots