This title appears in the Scientific Report : 2020 

Water and phosphorus uptake by upland rice root systems unraveled under multiple scenarios: linking a 3D soil-root model and data
Mai, Trung Hieu
Bauw, Pieterjan De (Corresponding author) / Schnepf, Andrea / Merckx, Roel / Smolders, Erik / Vanderborght, Jan
Agrosphäre; IBG-3
Cold Spring Harbor Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 2020
Terrestrial Systems: From Observation to Prediction
Please use the identifier: in citations.
Please use the identifier: in citations.
Background and aims Upland rice is often grown where water and phosphorus (P) are limited and these two factors interact on P bioavailability. To better understand this interaction, mechanistic models representing small-scale nutrient gradients and water dynamics in the rhizosphere of full-grown root systems are needed.Methods Rice was grown in large columns using a P-deficient soil at three different P supplies in the topsoil (deficient, suboptimal, non-limiting) in combination with two water regimes (field capacity versus drying periods). Root architectural parameters and P uptake were determined. Using a multiscale model of water and nutrient uptake, in-silico experiments were conducted by mimicking similar P and water treatments. First, 3D root systems were reconstructed by calibrating an architecure model with observed phenological root data, such as nodal root number, lateral types, interbranch distance, root diameters, and root biomass allocation along depth. Secondly, the multiscale model was informed with these 3D root architectures and the actual transpiration rates. Finally, water and P uptake were simulated.Key results The plant P uptake increased over threefold by increasing P and water supply, and drying periods reduced P uptake at high but not at low P supply. Root architecture was significantly affected by the treatments. Without calibration, simulation results adequately predicted P uptake, including the different effects of drying periods on P uptake at different P levels. However, P uptake was underestimated under P deficiency, a process likely related to an underestimated affinity of P uptake transporters in the roots. Both types of laterals (i.e. S- and L-type) are shown to be highly important for both water and P uptake, and the relative contribution of each type depend on both soil P availability and water dynamics. Key drivers in P uptake are growing root tips and the distribution of laterals.Conclusions This model-data integration demonstrates how multiple co-occurring single root phene responses to environmental stressors contribute to the development of a more efficient root system. Further model improvements such as the use of Michaelis constants from buffered systems and the inclusion of mycorrhizal infections and exudates are proposed.