Soil compaction represents one of the major challenges facing modern agriculture due to poor tillage practices and increasing weight of farm equipment. Mechanical impedance reduce crop yields by <75% as roots struggle to penetrate hard soils, causing billions of dollars in losses annually. Soil compaction triggers a reduction in root growth, limiting the availability of water and nutrients. Compaction also reduces the number and volume of air-filled soil pores, restricting diffusion of gases between roots and the rhizosphere. We recently discovered that plants employ the gaseous hormone ethylene released from root tips to sense soil compaction. The reduced porosity of compacted soil appears to restrict diffusion of ethylene out of roots, triggering growth inhibition.

Speaker Information

Short Bio:

Dr. Bipin Pandey is BBSRC Discovery Fellow at University of Nottingham. His main focus is to discover novel root adaptive responses and signals which provide greater access to nutrients and water in poor soils. Recently, Dr. Pandey discovered that ethylene acts as a key signal to sense soil compaction (Pandey et al., 2021, Science). Moreover, he co-discovered that how the hormone auxin plays a key role during low phosphate stress by promoting hair elongation (Bhosale, et al, 2018, Nature Comms; Giri et al, 2018, Nature Comms). Dr. Bipin Pandey is employing multidisciplinary approaches to uncover the mechanism of root tip elongation underpinning the root adaptive responses in poor and problematic soils.

Dr. Pandey's recent Science paper has been discussed in articles in > 20 newspapers around the world – such as:
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/mutant-roots-reveal-grow-crops-190023181.html New discovery paves way for crops to be grown in damaged soils - FarmingUK News
www.farminguk.com Hard to crack research reveals how crop roots penetrate hard soils

Plus interviews for national radio stations in >10 countries in America, Europe and Asia e.g. 5LiveScience show on BBC Radio 5 Live:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000rdzv (about 33 mins in)

There is also an easy to read summary in the online international science blog The Conversation:

“Mutant roots reveal how we can grow crops in damaged soils” has been published on.
Here's the link: https://theconversation.com/mutant-roots-reveal-how-we-can-grow-crops-in-damaged-soils-153140