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.