Root border cells: A delivery system for chemicals controlling plant health

Martha C. Hawes, Ho Hyung Woo, Fushi Wen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Root border cells constitute a dynamic built-in delivery system which enables roots to engineer the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the environment in advance of the growing root tip. This chapter describes the properties of root border cells in the context of their potential agronomic application in plant health and crop productivity. In vitro observations of interactions between border cells and soil microflora suggest that border cells play a major role in defining the ecology of the rhizosphere. Other important functions that border cells may facilitate include protection of the tip from toxic metals, enzymatic modulation of the physical properties of the rhizosphere, and penetration of the root tip through soil. The use of border cell specific gene promoters to create defined changes in root exudate delivery by transgenic plants will make it possible explore diverse applications in crop protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoots and Soil Management
Subtitle of host publicationInteractions between Roots and the Soil
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780891182672
ISBN (Print)9780891181590
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • Agronomic application
  • Chemical properties
  • Crop productivity
  • Dynamic built-in delivery system
  • Plant health
  • Plant-microbe interactions
  • Root border cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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