By Maud Hinchee, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Agricen Sciences
It’s spring, and newly germinated seedlings are revving their engines!
Once a seedling has secured a foothold with its root, it uses the power of its photosynthetic engines to drive growth. Sunlight is the fuel source, enabling the plant to produce the proteins, lipids and carbohydrates it needs to make new leaves and new roots. To create these internal building blocks, the seedling must mine and extract raw materials from the soil in the form of water, macronutrients and micronutrients.
How does a root prospect? Unlike the “49ers” who picked up their stakes and often travelled great distances to join the California Gold Rush, a plant is literally rooted to its home. Often, its immediate home is not choice real estate with plentiful water and nutrients on tap, so the plant needs to be able to find water and nutrients, sometimes at great distance, and “sluice” them back through its root system to the growing shoot.