University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > How to get on with your weedy neighbours? A study of root to root interactions between wheat and black grass

How to get on with your weedy neighbours? A study of root to root interactions between wheat and black grass

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In natural and managed ecosystems such as agricultural fields, plants seldom grow alone, rather, they interact with individuals that belong to the same or different plant species. The outcome of these plant-plant interactions can be beneficial (e.g., facilitation due to nutrient release), neutral or detrimental (e.g., competition, parasitism). Belowground plant-plant interactions are less well characterised than those occurring above ground and may affect nutrients and water acquisition, and competition against weeds. In an agricultural field, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants interact with weedy species such as Alopecurus myosuroides (black grass), and others. It is important to understand how the presence of roots from neighbouring weed plants may affect root growth and ultimately crop performance. While in some studies root exudates have been implicated in root detection, the mechanism is not well understood. I will discuss experiments conducted to test the hypothesis that roots from wheat can detect neighbouring roots, and that investigate a possible mechanism.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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