Modern biological approaches generate volumes of multi-dimensional data, offering unprecedented opportunities to address biological questions previously beyond reach owing to small or subtle effects. A fundamental question in plant biology is the extent to which below-ground activity in the root system influences above-ground phenotypes expressed in the shoot system. Grafting, an ancient horticultural practice that fuses the root system of one individual (the rootstock) with the shoot system of a second, genetically distinct individual (the scion), is a powerful experimental system to understand below-ground effects on above-ground phenotypes. Previous studies on grafted grapevines have detected rootstock influence on scion phenotypes including physiology and berry chemistry. However, the extent of the rootstock's influence on leaves, the photosynthetic engines of the vine, and how those effects change over the course of a growing season, are still largely unknown.
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Zachary N Harris, Mani Awale, Niyati Bhakta, Daniel H Chitwood, Anne Fennell, Emma Frawley, Laura L Klein, Laszlo G Kovacs, Misha Kwasniewski, Jason P Londo, Qin Ma, Zoë Migicovsky, Joel F Swift, Allison J Miller, Multi-dimensional leaf phenotypes reflect root system genotype in grafted grapevine over the growing season, GigaScience, Volume 10, Issue 12, December 2021, giab087, https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giab087