DigR: a generic model and simulator of 3D root-system architecture

Several models of root system architecture exist in the literature but few of them are targeted at the organ level in response to environmental factors and none of them have modelled both annual plant and perennial tree root systems. Barczi et al. propose a generic, open-source, user friendly, 3D model (DigR) which simulates the architecture and dynamics of a wide range of root systems based on root-system architectural analysis and typology.

Root system simulation showing geometrical features to control root shape
Root system simulation showing geometrical features to control root shape in terms of rhizotaxy angle (helicoid angle between two successive lateral roots) and insertion angle (angle between bearing root and laterals), root deformations (local deviation and tortuosity) and root direction within global constraint cones.

External plugins enhance virtual simulations of plastic responses of roots to environmental constraints. DigR can output contrasting root system structures such as tap-root, fasciculate, tuberous, nodulated and clustered root systems.

Further reading

Barczi, J.-F., Rey, H., Griffon, S., & Jourdan, C. (2018). DigR: a generic model and its open source simulation software to mimic three-dimensional root-system architecture diversity. Annals of Botany, 121(5), 1089–1104. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy018