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Our understanding of how root develop in soil may be at the eve of significant transformations. The formidable expansion of imaging technologies enables live observations of the rhizosphere micro-pore architecture at unprecedented resolution. Granular matter physics provides ways to understand the microscopic fluctuations of forces in soils, and the increasing knowledge of plant mechanobiology may shed new lights on how roots perceive soil heterogeneity. This opinion paper exposes how recent scientific achievements may contribute to design a new theory for root growth in heterogeneous environments.