Getting to the Roots: The New Frontiers of Cotton Breeding

January 2023 | 28 min., 26 sec.
by Sruthi Narayanan
Clemson University


​Current science recognizes the importance of root architecture in breeding drought-resilient crop varieties. Recent research has identified novel root ideotypes that would be advantageous in varied soil and climatic conditions. With the advances in genomics and the availability of new tools for root phenotyping, we have better ability to breed new varieties with beneficial root traits. In this presentation, Sruthi Narayanan reviews the importance of roots in improving cotton yields in the U.S. Southeast, current investments in root breeding, and root ideotypes that have been proposed in the literature for crop improvement. Narayanan also talks about her cotton root research program at Clemson University.

About the Presenter

Sruthi Narayanan ​Sruthi Narayanan is an associate professor of crop ecophysiology in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University, with 50% research and 50% teaching responsibilities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Kerala Agriculture University, India, and a master’s degree in agronomy and a PhD in agronomy from Kansas State University. Narayanan’s research program focuses on improving the productivity of agronomic crops through economically viable and environmentally sustainable agronomic practices. Her projects are geared toward identifying pathways and mechanisms for improving heat and drought tolerance of plants at the field and cellular scales.

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