Rice root growth and function in the rainfed Lowlands: implications for rice in the uplands

Benjamin K. Samson, Leonard Wade

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Rice roots are commonly shallow in rainfed lowland conditions. Mechanical impedance is one factor that may restrict access of roots to deeper soil layers, thereby reducing the capacity of the root system to extract water from depth during late-season drought. The capacity of rice roots to penetrate hardpans was examined in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Eight rice lines showed differing abilities to penetrate through soil layers that increased in soil penetration resistance to 3.0 MPa at 15-25 cm depth in the rainfed experiments. Unfortunately, soil water extraction was not measured in the study. Two studies, at the same site, used three and five rice lines, respectively, to determine if differences in pattern and capacity to extend into deeper soil layers resulted in differences in extracting soil moisture as drought progressed. The magnitude of root length density did not directly relate to the speed of soil water extraction. The implications and opportunities presented by these studies in the uplands are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIRRI Drought Frontier Project
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventRoot Biology and MAS Workshop - Bangalore, India, India
Duration: 26 Sep 200729 Sep 2007


WorkshopRoot Biology and MAS Workshop

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