WHAT IS ROOT ARCHITECTURE? The term âarchitectureâ in reference to biological objects usually denotes the spatial configuration of some complex assemblage of subunits, with the implication that the overa11 configuration has some functional significance. The term âroot architectureâ has been used in various contexts to refer to distinct aspects of the shape of root systems. The following glossary more clearly delineates architecture from other terms: Morphology. Root morphology refers to the surface features of a single root axis as an organ, including characteristics of the epidermis such as root hairs, root diameter, the root cap, the pattern of appearance of daughter roots, undulations of the root axis, and cortical senescence. Anatomical features of a root related to cell and tissue organization are not usually part of architectural considerations. Topology. Root topology refers to how individual root axes are connected to each other through branching. As in mathFinancia1 support was provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Research Initiative grant 94371000311 and National Science Foundation grant BIR-9220330. * E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;fax 1-814-863-6139. ematical usage, root topology is stable to deformation or rotation of the axes themselves and therefore is possible to measure on excavated root systems. Distribution. Root distribution refers to
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