← Back to Search
The Nodal Roots Of Zea: Their Development In Relation To Structural Features Of The Stem
Published 1986 · Biology
The framework of the root system of a mature, field-grown corn plant of variety Seneca Chief consists of about 70 axile roots. One of these is the primary root. The others develop on the stem, a single tier at each of the seven basal nodes. Just over half of these roots grow out at or above ground level from nodes 6 and 7 late in the development of the plant, with those of node 7 entering the soil just before flowering. The mean diameter of the root produced at successively higher nodes increases, as does also the mean number of large metaxylem elements seen in a cross section, so that about 75% of the large xylem conduits between the root system and the stem are in the roots of the two uppermost tiers. Nodal root primordia develop initially in situ from an extensive region of dedifferentiated stem cortex. A sleeve-like extension of the stem encloses the base of each root formed at aerial nodes. At each node the complexity of vascular interconnections results in all of the framework roots being indirectly...