Saturday, May 25, 2024

Chickpea/Gram Pea Lateral Roots: Economic Importance, Uses and By-Products

Like many other plants, chickpeas have a complex root system that consists of primary, secondary, and lateral roots. Lateral roots play a significant role in nutrient uptake, water absorption, and overall plant growth. Lateral roots, also called secondary roots, emerge from the primary root of the chickpea seedling as it grows. These roots develop from the pericycle, which is a layer of cells in the vascular cylinder of the root.

Lateral roots extend horizontally from the primary root, spreading outwards into the surrounding soil. They create a network of fine, thread-like structures that explore a larger volume of soil in search of water, minerals, and nutrients. The length and density of lateral roots can vary based on factors such as soil conditions, water availability, and nutrient content. In well-drained and nutrient-rich soils, chickpea lateral roots can be numerous and extensively branched.

Lateral roots are primarily responsible for enhancing the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. They increase the surface area for nutrient uptake, which is crucial for the plant’s growth and development. Lateral roots also provide stability to the plant by anchoring it in the soil.

Chickpeas, like many leguminous plants, often form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi. These fungi attach to the lateral roots and extend their hyphae into the soil, helping in nutrient absorption, particularly phosphorus, and promoting overall plant health. The development of lateral roots can be influenced by various environmental factors, including soil moisture, temperature, and nutrient availability. They tend to proliferate in moist soils with optimal nutrient concentrations.

Chickpea lateral roots exhibit adaptive responses to stress conditions such as drought. During water scarcity, lateral root growth may be reduced, and the plant may focus on deeper soil layers to access water reserves.Proper crop management practices, such as optimizing irrigation, fertilization, and soil health, can influence the growth and development of chickpea lateral roots, ultimately affecting the plant’s yield and quality.

The Economic Importance and Uses of Chickpea/Gram Pea Lateral Roots

Chickpea/Gram Pea Lateral Roots

Lateral roots are secondary roots that emerge from the primary root of a plant. They play a vital role in nutrient and water uptake, anchoring the plant, and interacting with soil microorganisms. While I don’t have specific information about chickpea lateral roots, here’s a general explanation of their importance:

1. Nutrient and Water Uptake: Lateral roots significantly increase the root surface area of the plant, allowing for better absorption of nutrients and water from the soil.

2. Anchoring and Stability: Lateral roots help anchor the plant in the soil, providing stability against wind and other environmental stresses.

3. Interaction with Soil Microorganisms: Lateral roots create a zone of interaction with beneficial soil microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These interactions can enhance nutrient availability and plant health.

4. Soil Structure Improvement: As lateral roots grow and penetrate the soil, they create channels that promote soil aeration and drainage, improving overall soil structure.

5. Erosion Control: The network of lateral roots helps bind the soil together, reducing soil erosion and promoting conservation.

6. Rhizobium Symbiosis: Chickpeas, like many leguminous plants, form a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called Rhizobium. These bacteria colonize the lateral roots and convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that the plant can utilize for growth. This ability to fix nitrogen enriches the soil with this essential nutrient, benefiting not only the chickpea plant but also subsequent crops in a rotation.

7. Drought Adaptation: Lateral roots often grow deeper into the soil compared to the main taproot. This deeper root system can enhance the plant’s ability to access water stored at greater depths, making chickpeas more resilient to drought conditions.

8. Exploration of Soil Microenvironments: Lateral roots explore different regions of the soil, accessing various pockets of nutrients, minerals, and moisture. This exploration contributes to efficient resource utilization and can lead to healthier plant growth.

9. Resilience to Soil Compaction: Lateral roots play a role in mitigating soil compaction by creating channels and airspaces within the soil. This is particularly important in agricultural fields where machinery can lead to soil compaction, which negatively affects plant growth.

10. Agricultural Practices: Farmers often observe the lateral root development as an indicator of plant health and vigor. Monitoring lateral root growth can provide insights into soil quality, nutrient availability, and overall crop performance.

11. Research and Breeding: Agricultural researchers and breeders study the development and characteristics of lateral roots to improve crop varieties. By selecting and breeding chickpea varieties with robust lateral root systems, they can enhance the plant’s ability to withstand environmental stressors and maximize yield potential.

12. Climate Change Adaptation: As climate patterns shift, having a strong lateral root system becomes increasingly important. Chickpeas with well-developed lateral roots may have an advantage in adapting to changing rainfall patterns and soil conditions.

The Products and By-products That Can Be Derived From Chickpea/Gram pea Lateral roots

The lateral roots of chickpea plants can also be utilized in different ways.

Here are some products and by-products that can be derived from chickpea lateral roots, along with explanations, examples, and processes:

1. Chickpea Flour (Besan): Chickpea flour, commonly known as besan, is a finely ground powder made from dried chickpeas. It is a staple ingredient in many cuisines and is used to make various dishes. Chickpea lateral roots can be processed to obtain chickpea seeds, which are then dried and ground into a fine powder to make chickpea flour.

2. Chickpea Extracts (Phytochemicals): Chickpea lateral roots contain phytochemicals such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which have potential health benefits. The lateral roots can be processed through methods like solvent extraction to obtain concentrated phytochemical extracts.

3. Animal Feed: Chickpea lateral roots can be used as a source of nutrition for livestock and poultry. The roots can be dried, ground, and mixed with other feed ingredients to create balanced animal feed.

4. Biogas Production: Chickpea lateral roots can be used in anaerobic digestion to produce biogas, which is a renewable energy source. The roots are subjected to anaerobic fermentation in a biogas digester, where microorganisms break down the organic matter and produce biogas.

5. Soil Conditioner: Chickpea lateral roots can be incorporated into the soil to improve its structure, water retention, and nutrient content.

6. Phytoremediation: Chickpea lateral roots can assist in phytoremediation by absorbing heavy metals and pollutants from the soil. The lateral roots absorb contaminants from the soil, which are then stored in the plant tissues.

Read Also: Chickpea/Gram Pea Epicotyl : Economic Importance, Uses and By-Products

7. Natural Dyes and Pigments: Chickpea lateral roots can be used to extract natural dyes and pigments that can be used in textiles, cosmetics, and other products.

8. Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals: Compounds present in chickpea lateral roots may have potential pharmaceutical applications and can be used as a source of medicinal compounds. The roots can be subjected to extraction processes to isolate and purify bioactive compounds, which can then be further studied for their potential pharmaceutical uses.

9. Biofertilizers: Chickpea lateral roots can be used to produce biofertilizers that enhance soil fertility and promote plant growth.

10. Cosmetic and Personal Care Products: Chickpea lateral root extracts can be used in cosmetic and personal care products due to their potential skin benefits.

11. Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods: Chickpea lateral roots can contribute to the development of nutraceuticals and functional foods that offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition.

12. Composting Material: Chickpea lateral roots can be composted to create organic matter that enriches soil structure and fertility.

In conclusion, the potential uses mentioned above provide a glimpse of the versatility of chickpea lateral roots and the opportunities they offer in various industries, from agriculture to energy and cosmetics. It’s important to conduct thorough research and testing to ensure the safety, efficacy, and sustainability of these applications.

Read Also: Waste-to-Energy Plants: A Comprehensive Guide


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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