MCS root trait

MCS root trait

root cross sections

Called multiseriate cortical sclerenchyma by the researchers — or MCS — the phenotype is characterized by small cells with thick walls just beneath the surface of the roots, as shown by these images captured by the researchers using laser ablation tomography. Roots with the MCS genotype have a greater concentration of lignin — an organic polymer that lends rigidity. The grant will pay for research into developing the trait for plant breeding.

IMAGE: Hannah Schneider/Penn State