Understanding apple root architecture

October 2017 – September 2021

Magdalena Cobo-Medina

Magda holds a BSc in Biology and a MSc in Biotechnology and Genetics through which she gained extensive background knowledge in genetics and molecular biology. In 2014 she started working at NIAB EMR as a research technician and participated in several research projects.

Rootstocks are an essential component of successful tree fruit production, conferring productivity through altering floral/vegetative balance. However, root system architecture (RSA) is poorly understood, despite the importance of RSA for optimising both productivity and resilience, as global challenges drive the need for more efficient and resilient crop production.

The main aim of the project is to understand the effect of dwarfing on RSA in apple allowing assessment of dwarfing-associated root development on nitrogen uptake. This project will provide useful molecular markers for important root traits which can then be deployed into breeding programmes to aid rootstock selection for new and improved rootstocks. In addition, impact from this work extends to other high-value perennial crops including cherry, pear and apricot.

Research progress

Annual report 2017-2018