International Workshop November 2019: Deep rooted crops for future food production

In November 2019, the  Deep Frontier project hosted an international workshop that summoned some of the leading root experts from around the world.  The purpose of the workshop was to provide inputs to an international research agenda for research in deep rooting and deep rooted crops (2-5 meters depth) and to facilitate collaboration between deep root researchers and research environments


See program and some of the presentations and videos from the day:

  • Visit to Deep Frontier field facilities (towers, field lab and Radimax)
  • Presentation of results from the Deep Frontier Research:

Pitch decks:

  • Dorte Bodin Dresbøll, University of Copenhagen: Root towers - detailed studies of water and nutrient uptake in different species
  • Mette H. Nicolaisen, University of Copenhagen: Rhizosphere microbial communities of deep-rooted crops


Session 1: Methods for deep root research - How can we experimentally investigate deep rooting and associated functioning?

Keynote: Peter Gregory, Univ. of Reading, UK  Roots: finding a deeper understanding

Pitch decks:

  • Discussion

Session 2: Cropping systems - Which crops and cropping systems can facilitatet deep rooting and how to utilize these?

Keynote:  Doris Vetterlein, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany: Root induced structure/pattern formation - legacy for subsequent crops

Pitch Decks:

Session 3: Enhancing resource use through deep rooting – What is the potential for water and nutrient uptake by deep rooted crops?

Keynote: John Kirkegaard, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia: Deep and meaningful: using systems agronomy to capture benefits from deep roots   See video presentation

Pitch decks:  

Session 4: Carbon storage in deep soil through deep rooted crops - amounts and controlling factors, incl. root and soil microbiology


  • Yakov Kuzyakov, University of Göttingen, Germany  Carbon & Carbon in Subsoil  

  • Michael Schloter, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany: Interactions of the deep rooting plants with the microbiome of subsoils. 

Pitch decks:

  • Isabelle Bertrand, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), France: Fate of root litter derived C and nutrients at depth: what are the challenges?

  • Huadong Zang, China Agricultural University, China: DEEP FRONTIER Challenging one last frontier: Understanding and improving deep rooting Does diversified cropping systems helps carbon storage in deep soil?

  • Callum Banfield, University of Göttingen, Germany: Accumulation and processing of root detritus in subsoil biopores

  • Discussion

Session 5 – Research agenda: Contribution of deep rooted crops to sustainability targets - What is the potential of deep rooted crops and cropping systems for contributing to sustainable development goals, and how do we quantify this? (Chair: Niels Halberg, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Keynote: Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Discussion
  • Summing up from the five sessions, final discussions and closure