Profile – Jonathan Lynch

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Jonathan Lynch

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I am a Professor at Penn State and the University of Nottingham. My work focuses on the physiology, genetics, and agroecology of plant adaptation drought and low availability of N and P.

Research Areas:

  • Root biology
  • Drought
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus

Current N-related Projects:

  • Root phenotypes for improved N capture in maize


Postma, JA, JP Lynch. 2011. Root cortical aerenchyma enhances the acquisition and utilization of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in Zea mays L. Plant Physiology 156: 1190–1201.

Postma, JA and JP Lynch. 2012. Complementarity in root architecture for nutrient uptake in ancient maize/bean and maize/bean/squash polycultures. Annals of Botany 110:521-534.

Trachsel S, SM Kaeppler, KM Brown, JP Lynch. 2013. Maize root growth angles become steeper under low N conditions. Field Crops Research, 140:18-31.

York, LM, E Nord, J Lynch. 2013. Integration of root phenes for soil resource acquisition. Front Plant Sci 4: 355

Lynch, JP. 2013. Steep, cheap and deep: an ideotype to optimize water and N acquisition by maize root systems. Annals of Botany 112:347-357.

Saengwilai P, X Tian, JP Lynch. 2014.  Low crown root number enhances nitrogen acquisition from low nitrogen soils in maize (Zea mays L.). Plant Physiology 166:581-589.

Saengwilai P, EA Nord, JG Chimungu, KM Brown JP Lynch 2014. Root cortical aerenchyma enhances nitrogen acquisition from low nitrogen soils in maize (Zea mays L.) Plant Physiology 166:726-735.

Postma JA, A Dathe, JP Lynch 2014 The optimal lateral root branching density for maize depends on nitrogen and phosphorus availability, Plant Physiology, Published online before print May 2014, doi: http:/ / dx. doi. org/ 10. 1104/ pp. 113. 233916

Zhang C, JA Postma, LM York, JP Lynch 2014 Root foraging elicits niche complementarity-dependent yield advantage in the ancient “three sisters” (maize/bean/squash) polyculture. Annals of Botany, DOI 10.1093/aob/mcu191

Lynch JP. 2014. Root phenes that reduce the metabolic costs of soil exploration: opportunities for 21st century agriculture. Plant, Cell and Environment 38:1775-1784.

Bucksch A, J Burridge, Larry M. York, A Das, EA Nord, JS Weitz, Jonathan P. Lynch. 2014. Image-based high-throughput field phenotyping of crop roots. Plant Physiology 214:470-486.

Lynch JP, T Wojciechowski. 2015. Opportunities and challenges in the subsoil: pathways to deeper rooted crops, J Exp. Botany, 66: 2199-2210.

Zhan A, JP Lynch. 2015. Reduced frequency of lateral root branching improves N capture from low N soils in maize. J Exp. Botany, 66:2055-2065.

York LM, T Galindo Castañeda, JR Schussler, JP Lynch. 2015. Evolution of maize (Zea mays L.) root architectural and anatomical phenes over the past 100 years corresponds to increased tolerance of nitrogen stress. J Exp. Botany 66:2347-2358.

Nord EA, RE Jaramillo, JP Lynch. 2015. Edaphic control of plant response to elevated CO2 in Festuca arundinaceae. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00095.

York LM, JP Lynch. 2015.  Intensive phenotyping of maize (Zea mays L.) root crowns reveals phenes and phene interactions associated with plant growth and N capture. J Exp. Botany, 66: 5493-5505

York LM, M Silberbush, JP Lynch. 2016. Spatiotemporal variation of nitrate uptake kinetics within the maize (Zea mays) root system is associated with greater nitrate uptake and additive interactions with root system architecture. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/erw133

Dathe A, JA Postma, M Postma-Blaauw, JP Lynch. 2016. Impact of axial root angles on nitrogen acquisition in maize depends on environmental conditions. Annals of Botany, in press.