Soilless culture systems are currently one of the fastest-growing sectors in horticulture. The plant roots are confined into a specific root zone and are exposed to environmental changes and cultivation factors. The recent scientific evidence regarding the effects of several environmental and cultivation factors on the morphology, architecture, and performance of the root system of plants grown in SCS are the objectives of this study.
The effect of root restriction, nutrient solution, irrigation frequency, rootzone temperature, oxygenation, vapor pressure deficit, lighting, rootzone pH, root exudates, CO2, and beneficiary microorganisms on the functionality and performance of the root system are discussed. Overall, the main results of this review demonstrate that researchers have carried out great efforts in innovation to optimize SCS water and nutrients supply, proper temperature, and oxygen levels at the root zone, and effective plant–beneficiary microorganisms, while contributing to plant yields.
Finally, this review analyses the new trends based on emerging technologies and various tools that might be exploited in a smart agriculture approach to improve root management in soilless cropping while procuring a deeper understanding of plant root–shoot communication.
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Environmental and Cultivation Factors Affect the Morphology, Architecture and Performance of Root Systems in Soilless Grown Plants by Astrit Balliu, Youbin Zheng, Glenda Sallaku, Juan A. Fernández, Nazim S. Gruda, and Yuksel Tuzel. Horticulturae 2021, 7(8), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7080243.