Newsletter of the International Society of Root Research, July 2020

Dear Members of the International Society of Root Research,


We would like to welcome you to our next ISRR newsletter, designed to stimulate global communication and advancement of plant root science and inform you about ongoing activities within the root research community and the ISRR. Feel free to share this newsletter with others, ISRR members and non-members.


Feature article: Linked meetings of ISSR11 (11th Symposium of the International Society of Root Research) and ROOTING2021 (9th International Symposium on Root Development) 

By Bob Sharp and Malcolm Bennett, on behalf of the Organizing Committees 

We are pleased to inform you of an exciting development surrounding the planning for ISRR11, which will be held on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, USA, from May 24-28, 2021 ( ISRR11 will feature a unique collaboration with the rescheduled ROOTING2021, which will be held at the University of Nottingham, UK, on the same dates ( The ROOTING meeting was originally scheduled for June 2020, but was postponed because of the global pandemic. To facilitate bringing together the international root research community, the two organizing committees enthusiastically agreed to link the meetings by holding them concurrently and sharing key components that include:

  • Live-streaming of a number of invited speakers and full sessions
  • Special issues of several journals with content from both meetings
  • Shared activities, including funding support for early-career researchers 

At present, we hope that both meetings will be held in person. However, the organizing committees are also developing plans to take the meetings online or allow for some online participation, if this becomes necessary due to travel limitations related to the pandemic.  

The session themes of ISRR11 include (*shared full session with ROOTING2021):

Root and root system development • Root phenotyping approaches spanning lab to field • Root stress biology • Food roots • The root-soil interface • Underground communication • *Root-microbe interactions • *Water and nutrient relations • Technologies to image root functions • Modelling of root and rhizosphere processes • *Grafted root systems and intra plant communication • Root Ecosystem Services/Perennial Root Systems. 

ROOTING2021 includes sessions on (*shared full session with ISRR11):

Hormones and root system architecture • Root morphogenesis • *Nutrient and water uptake • *Root biotic interactions • *Grafting / re-generation • Root phenomics - “Hands on” demonstrations 

The program of ISRR11 will include the following plenary and keynote speakers, with others to be added (*indicates live-shared speakers between the meetings):

*Anna Amtmann (Univ. Glasgow, UK)

*Malcolm Bennett (Univ. Nottingham, UK)

*Xavier Draye (UCLouvain, Belgium)

Joseph Dubrovsky (Natl. Autonomous Univ. of Mexico, Mexico)

*Caroline Gutjahr (LMU Munich, Germany)

*Jonathan Lynch (Penn State Univ., USA)

*Charles Melnyk (SLU Uppsala, Sweden)

Tiina Roose (Univ. Southampton, UK)

*Ross Sozzani (North Carolina State Univ., USA)

*Yusaku Uga (Natl. Ag. & Food Research Org., Japan) 

Continuing the tradition established at the 2015 ISRR meeting, a pre-symposium “Graduate Student & Postdoc Ambassador Program” will be held in conjunction with ISRR11. The Ambassador Program will be based in St Louis, Missouri, and is being organized by Chris Topp (Donald Danforth Plant Science Center) and Allison Miller (St Louis University) together with graduate student and postdoc members of the ISRR organizing committee. Details, including application procedures, will be announced on the ISRR11 website as the program develops. 

Symposium updates and deadlines for abstract submissions will be posted on the respective meeting websites. Also follow the meetings on Twitter and Facebook:

We look forward to welcoming you to ISRR11 at the University of Missouri and to ROOTING2021 at the University of Nottingham! 

On behalf of the Organizing Committees, 


Feature publications

  • Ephrath et al. 2020: “Exposing the hidden half: root research at the forefront of science” (doi:10.1007/s11104-019-04417-y)
  • De-Jesús-García et al. 2020. “The barrier function of plant roots: biological bases for selective uptake and avoidance of soil compounds” (
  • Zhou et al. 2020: “Decoupled drought responses of fine-root versus leaf acquisitive traits among six Prunus hybrids” (

Please nominate a recent publication from your group for featuring in the following newsletter!


Some interesting meetings upcoming next year

  • International Conference on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production- DIGICROP 2020. Online conference on 1-10 Nov 2020 (conference website)
  • 8th International Symposium on Root Structure and Function in the High Tatras mountain region of the Slovak Republic, on 6-10 Sept 2021 (conference website)

Please let us know if another interesting conference, ideally featuring a section about roots, is coming up so that we can promote the meeting on our website and in the next newsletters.


ISRR now listed in the yearbook of the Union of International Associations (UIA)

The ISRR is now searchable in the online yearbook of UIA (


Follow ISRR News on Twitter account @RootScientists

News from ISRR members is featured on Twitter in an account hosted jointly with the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN) Root Phenotyping Working Group. Have a look for insights into ongoing root research and phenotyping, shared by members of either group and feel free to tweet and retweet us!



If you would like to announce something or give feedback to the newsletter or the web site, please write an email to our official address ( Of course you can also retract your agreement to receiving this e-bulletin in the future.


Kind regards,

Dr. Josefine Kant (née Nestler) and Prof. Michelle Watt, ISRR President,

On behalf of the ISRR Executive and Executive Secretary Ulrike Mathesius