Kristian Thorup-Kristensen

Kristian Thorup-Kristensen


Member of:

    Professor in Crop Science

    The main aims of my research are to study root growth and resource acquisition of crops, and to use this in the development of resource efficient cropping systems.

    The study of crop root growth is made in field, semi-field and greenhouse studies, but with a clear focus on understanding and improving crop root growth under actual field conditions. We study many aspects of root growth but with a main focus on development of deep rooting and crop utilization of resources from deep soil layers.

    In several crop root growth was studied using the minirhizotron method, and the interactions between root growth and soil nitrogen use were studied to 2.5m depth and more. Other aspects of root growth studied include field scale root phenotyping, root competition in mixed plant stands, root modelling and the significance of crop root growth for the development of more sustainable farming systems, including organic farming.   

    Root research in the field is always limited by laborious and non-precise methods, and therefore we work on developing new and better methods helping the study of deep root growth and activity.

    Current main projects:

    RootAccess, where we design and build a new root research facility to  allow advanced root research under field crop conditions. As indicated in the title, the goal is to create maximum access to study the root zone, with a range of methods for soil and root study. The main building activities are planned for 2023, followed by installation of diverse measurement equipment.

    RadiBooster, where we work on semi-field root phenotyping of winter wheat, potatoes and grasses, in cooperation with Danish plant breeders and Aarhus University. Root studies are performed in the RadiMax facility, allowing root observation to 3m depth. Using machine learning techniques, the links between root observation and root function indicators are studied.

    OptiCrop, where we study water and nitrogen efficiency of genotypes of winter wheat, potato and grasses, in field experiments and using materials from the RadiMax root phenotyping experiments. Different isotope tracer techniques are employed for the study of water and nitrogen efficiency.

    Methods for field root phenotyping in grasses, where we study shoot based proxies for efficient root development, to be used in grass breeding. If efficient shoot based proxies can be identified, it will greatly improve the opportunities for root phenotyping as part of plant breeding.

    Responsible for the MSc course “Advanced Crop Production” and also teaching a lot at the BSc course “Afgrødelære (Crop science)”

    Publication list:

    Orcid profil:

    ID: 16895035