Understanding canola root morphology and microbiomes in response to soil phosphorus fertility

View all Projects

Project Details

Principal Investigators


Start Date

Project Summary


The objective is to determine how canola root architecture and the root-associated microbiome impact the plant’s ability to forage for phosphorus. This research combines field and laboratory experiments to see how soil phosphorus fertility affects canola roots and their microbiome in order to develop strategies for overcoming phosphorus deficiency in canola production.


Canola plants including roots, rhizosphere and bulk soil were collected from the field where the effects of phosphorus rate and opener width were tested. Researchers measured plant growth and nutrient uptake, and are using DNA sequencing to examine the response of bacteria and fungi to different phosphorus applications. COVID-19 has delayed the more mechanistic aspects of this work in the greenhouse and laboratory, but results from two years in the field will guide ongoing project objectives imaging root growth and profiling microbiome development in rhizoboxes.