Understanding why aluminium and other trace metals are toxic to plants: The key to improving crop yield in degraded soils (2012–2016)
Trace metals, such as aluminium (Al) or copper (Cu), are toxic to plant root growth in acid soils and contaminated sites. Given the global importance of these toxicities, the effects of Al in plants have been studied for > 100 years, although the mechanisms by which metals reduce growth still remain unclear. The research proposed here provides a novel approach focussing on the root cell wall which interrelates and accounts for previous observations regarding the toxic effects of metals. Given that it is economically viable to ameliorate only 4% of Australia's acid soils, this information will allow metal-tolerant cultivars to be developed, thereby increasing plant growth and productivity in these degraded areas.