Do brace roots actually brace the plant?
Yes! We have shown in Reneau et al., 2020 that brace roots directly contribute to the anchorage of the stalk in maize.
Are brace roots a sign of stress?
Some sources have suggested that brace roots only occur when a plant is stressed. In our experience, these roots form constitutively. So, while they may *respond* to stress, the presence of brace roots does not necessarily mean your plants are stressed.
Do brace roots uptake nutrients from the soil?
The lowest whorls of brace roots penetrate the soil, and have been proposed to uptake water and nutrients. We directly measured and yes - brace roots uptake nitrogen!
What is lodging?
Lodging is the term for plant mechanical failure. There is stalk lodging (stalk breaking) and root lodging (roots breaking or pulling out of the soil).
Does lodging actually affect yields?
Lodging is unpredictable, but when it occurs there are dramatic effects on yield. For root lodging, the yield losses increase with plant growth stage at lodging. These losses are primarily attributed to the inability to harvest with a combine.
Do brace roots help in lodging recovery?
We know that brace roots emerge from the stem after lodging, but an open question remains if these roots help with lodging recovery.