Root System (root + system)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Terms modified by Root System

  • root system architecture

  • Selected Abstracts

    Size and Structure of Fine Root Systems in Old-growth and Secondary Tropical Montane Forests (Costa Rica)

    BIOTROPICA, Issue 2 2003
    Dietrich Hertel
    ABSTRACT The fine root systems of three tropical montane forests differing in age and history were investigated in the Cordillera Talamanca, Costa Rica. We analyzed abundance, vertical distribution, and morphology of fine roots in an early successional forest (10,15 years old, ESF), a mid-successional forest (40 years old, MSP), and a nearby undisturbed old-growth forest (OGF), and related the root data to soil morphological and chemical parameters. The OGF stand contained a 19 cm deep organic layer on the forest floor (i.e., 530 mol C/m2), which was two and five times thicker than that of the MSF (10 cm) and ESF stands (4 cm), respectively. There was a corresponding decrease in fine root biomass in this horizon from 1128 g dry matter/m2 in the old-growth forest to 337 (MSF) and 31 g/m2 (ESF) in the secondary forests, although the stands had similar leaf areas. The organic layer was a preferred substrate for fine root growth in the old-growth forest as indicated by more than four times higher fine root densities (root mass per soil volume) than in the mineral topsoil (0,10 cm); in the two secondary forests, root densities in the organic layer were equal to or lower than in the mineral soil. Specific fine root surface areas and specific root tip abundance (tips per unit root dry mass) were significantly greater in the roots of the ESF than the MSF and OGF stands. Most roots of the ESF trees (8 abundant species) were infected by VA mycorrhizal fungi; ectomycorrhizal species (Quercus copeyemis and Q. costaricensis) were dominant in the MSF and OGF stands. Replacement of tropical montane oak forest by secondary forest in Costa Rica has resulted in (1) a large reduction of tree fine root biomass; (2) a substantial decrease in depth of the organic layer (and thus in preferred rooting space); and (3) a great loss of soil carbon and nutrients. Whether old,growth Quercus forests maintain a very high fine root biomass because their ectomycorrhizal rootlets are less effective in nutrient absorption than those of VA mycorrhizal secondary forests, or if their nutrient demand is much higher than that of secondary forests (despite a similar leaf area and leaf mass production), remains unclear. [source]

    Dispersal and life span spectra in plant communities: a key to safe site dynamics, species coexistence and conservation

    ECOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2002
    Roel J. Strykstra
    Dispersal and life span of individual plant species within five plant communities were assessed to obtain a characterization of these communities in this respect. Such a characterization is important in the context of restoration and maintenance. The most frequent species of five communities were ranked in eight classes according to their level of seed dispersal capability, their seed bank formation (dispersal in time and space) and their individual life span. In the communities, all eight classes were found, but communities differed in the distribution of the species over the classes. A theoretical framework was constructed to use the level of specialization of plant species in terms of dispersal in space and time, and life span, to define the characteristics of safe site dynamics within communities. Following simple rules, the relative reliability of the occurrence of safe sites in space and time was defined. After that, the relative reliability of the habitat was linked to the best fitting combination of trait specialization level. Having defined this link, communities could be characterized in a comparative way by their level and pattern of reliability of the opportunities for recruitment in space and time. The meaning of the coexistence of a range of trait combinations in one community was discussed. It was postulated that habitat reliability can explain this by assuming that the habitat of the community is part of a larger system, or consists of several "subsystems". These insights need to be considered in nature conservation. Succession and also specializations beyond the scope of dispersal and life span may influence the occurrence of species in a seemingly unfit habitat (for instance the occurrence of semi parasitic annuals in a community of perennials, because they use the perennial root system of other species). Finally, the meaning of safe site reliability in space and time in the context of restoration of communities was discussed. The reliability in space and time may be different today from that of the past, which restricts the feasibility of restoration of communities. [source]

    The exopolysaccharide of Rhizobium sp.

    Brassica napus roots but contributes to root colonization, YAS34 is not necessary for biofilm formation on Arabidopsis thaliana
    Summary Microbial exopolysaccharides (EPSs) play key roles in plant,microbe interactions, such as biofilm formation on plant roots and legume nodulation by rhizobia. Here, we focused on the function of an EPS produced by Rhizobium sp. YAS34 in the colonization and biofilm formation on non-legume plant roots (Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus). Using random transposon mutagenesis, we isolated an EPS-deficient mutant of strain YAS34 impaired in a glycosyltransferase gene (gta). Wild type and mutant strains were tagged with a plasmid-born GFP and, for the first time, the EPS produced by the wild-type strain was seen in the rhizosphere using selective carbohydrate probing with a fluorescent lectin and confocal laser-scanning microscopy. We show for the fist time that Rhizobium forms biofilms on roots of non-legumes, independently of the EPS synthesis. When produced by strain YAS34 wild type, EPS is targeted at specific parts of the plant root system. Nutrient fluctuations, root exudates and bacterial growth phase can account for such a production pattern. The EPS synthesis in Rhizobium sp. YAS34 is not essential for biofilm formation on roots, but is critical to colonization of the basal part of the root system and increasing the stability of root-adhering soil. Thus, in Rhizobium sp. YAS34 and non-legume interactions, microbial EPS is implicated in root,soil interface, root colonization, but not in biofilm formation. [source]

    Different portions of the maize root system host Burkholderia cepacia populations with different degrees of genetic polymorphism

    Luigi Chiarini
    In order to acquire a better understanding of the spatial and temporal variations of genetic diversity of Burkholderia cepacia populations in the rhizosphere of Zea mays, 161 strains were isolated from three portions of the maize root system at different soil depths and at three distinct plant growth stages. The genetic diversity among B. cepacia isolates was analysed by means of the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique. A number of diversity indices (richness, Shannon diversity, evenness and mean genetic distance) were calculated for each bacterial population isolated from the different root system portions. Moreover, the analysis of molecular variance ( amova) method was applied to estimate the genetic differences among the various bacterial populations. Our results showed that, in young plants, B. cepacia colonized preferentially the upper part of the root system, whereas in mature plants, B. cepacia was mostly recovered from the terminal part of the root system. This uneven distribution of B. cepacia cells among different root system portions partially reflected marked genetic differences among the B. cepacia populations isolated along maize roots on three distinct sampling occasions. In fact, all the diversity indices calculated indicated that genetic diversity increased during plant development and that the highest diversity values were found in mature maize plants, in particular in the middle and terminal portions of the root system. Moreover, the analysis of RAPD patterns by means of the amova method revealed highly significant divergences in the degree of genetic polymorphism among the various B. cepacia populations. [source]

    The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and environment on root development in soil

    D. Atkinson
    Summary The production of fine roots is one of the principal means by which carbon, fixed during photosynthesis, enters the soil, and quantifying the production for particular combinations of environmental and biotic factors is important for predicting the sequestration of carbon in the soils of grassland ecosystems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can have a major effect on the production of roots, and we studied how colonization by AMF affects the lifespan of roots. Twenty per cent of control roots of Trifolium repens survived for longer than 42 days whereas 37% survived that long in AMF-colonized plants. The overall survival of the roots of Lolium perenne was less than in T. repens: around 10% of roots survived beyond 42 days and this was not affected by AMF colonization. Previous studies have shown that lifespans of roots can be affected by temperature. We tested the hypothesis that these observations are linked to a change in the morphology of the root system caused by temperature and also by AMF. We found that inoculation with AMF in a microcosm study using Plantago lanceolata grown at various temperatures, with and without AMF, showed no clear effect of AMF on branching patterns. Temperature had a significant effect on total lengths, numbers and branching rates of some higher orders of roots. Total lengths of both secondary and tertiary roots grown at 27°C were about double those of plants grown at 15°C. Colonization by AMF tended to reduce this effect. Evidently the effect of colonization by AMF on root lifespan depends on the species. Increased branching, and thus a greater proportion of ephemeral roots, was responsible for shortening the lives of the roots at increased temperature, which suggests a strong link between lifespan and morphology. [source]

    Xylem root and shoot hydraulics is linked to life history type in chaparral seedlings

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    Robert B. Pratt
    Summary 1.,Shrubs in fire prone chaparral communities have evolved different life history types in response to fire. A key to understanding the evolution of life history type differences is to understand how physiological traits are linked to differences in life history type. Vascular adaptations are important for delivering an efficient and stable water supply to evergreen chaparral shrub leaves. This study tested for a link between vascular physiology and life history type in chaparral shrubs. 2.,Chaparral shrub species along the south-western coast of North America survive wildfire by three different life histories. Non-sprouters are killed by fire and re-establish exclusively through germination of fire-stimulated seeds, facultative sprouters re-establish by a combination of vegetative sprouting and fire-stimulated seeds, and obligate sprouters re-establish exclusively by vegetative sprouting because their seeds do not survive fire. Non-sprouters and facultative sprouters establish seedlings in the open canopy post fire environment, whereas obligate sprouters establish seedlings in the shady understory of the mature chaparral canopy. 3.,Seedlings of nine species (Rhamnaceae) representing three each of the different life history types were grown in deep containers in a common garden under treatments of sun and shade. Hydraulic conductance was measured using a high-pressure flow meter for all organs, and a vacuum technique was used to measure conductance of fine and woody roots. We predicted that non-sprouters would exhibit greater hydraulic efficiency than the sprouting species, and that facultative sprouters would be more efficient than the shade tolerant obligate sprouters. 4.,Non-sprouters had the greatest hydraulic conductance per unit leaf and sapwood area at the whole seedling level, whereas facultative and obligate sprouters were not different. Comparing hydraulic conductance across major organs (from fine roots to leaves) showed that the hydraulic system was well coordinated. At the whole seedling level, the root system was more of a bottleneck than the shoot system. This pattern was consistent with high resistance extraxylary pathways in roots and differences in root architecture. 5.,The greater hydraulic efficiency of the non-sprouter life history type is attributed to its post-fire pioneering habit and may partially explain the relatively high speciation in the non-sprouters. Lower hydraulic efficiency is associated with a sprouting life history and greater shade tolerance. The seedling root systems represent a hydraulic bottleneck that may place roots under especially intense selection. [source]

    Soil microorganisms in coastal foredunes control the ectoparasitic root-feeding nematode Tylenchorhynchus ventralis by local interactions

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2009
    Anna M. Pi, kiewicz
    Summary 1In natural grassland ecosystems, root-feeding nematodes and insects are the dominant below-ground herbivores. In coastal foredunes, the ectoparasitic nematode Tylenchorhynchus ventralis would be a major root herbivore if not strongly controlled by soil microorganisms. Here, we examined if the suppressive effects of the microbial enemies of T. ventralis act by local interactions such as predation, parasitism or antagonism, or local induction of plant defence, or by non-local interactions, such as systemic effects when microorganisms in one section of the plant roots can affect nematode control in another section of the root system. We show that abundance of T. ventralis in the root zone of the grass Ammophila arenaria is suppressed by local interactions. 2We compared local vs. non-local control of nematodes by a natural community of soil microorganisms in a split-root experiment, where nematodes and microbes were inoculated to the same, or to opposite root compartments. 3The split-root experiment revealed that microorganisms affected T. ventralis numbers only when present in the same root compartment. Therefore, the effects of microorganisms on T. ventralis are due to local interactions and not due to induction of a systemic defence mechanism in the plant host. 4When inoculated together with microorganisms, the nematodes were heavily infected with unknown bacteria and with fungi that resembled the genus Catenaria, suggesting that microorganisms control nematodes through parasitism. However, local defence induction cannot be completely excluded. 5Besides microbial enemies of nematodes, the root zone of A. arenaria also contains plant pathogens. Root biomass was reduced by nematode infection, but also by the combination of nematodes and microorganisms, most likely because the soil pathogens overwhelmed the effects of nematode control on plant production. 6We conclude that there may be a trade-off between beneficial effects of soil microorganisms on the plant host due to nematode control vs. pathogenic effects of soil microorganisms on the plant host. We propose that such trade-offs require more attention when studying below-ground multitrophic interactions. [source]

    Manipulation of flooding and arbuscular mycorrhiza formation influences growth and nutrition of two semiaquatic grass species

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2000
    S. P. Miller
    Abstract 1Two semiaquatic grasses, Panicum hemitomon Schultes and Leersia hexandra Schwartz, were grown for 12 weeks in sterilized soil in experimental mesocosms, with and without the addition of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal inoculum (as nonsterilized soil), under the following rooting-zone flood regimes: waterlogged (W), free-draining (D), beginning W and ending D (W,D), and beginning D and ending W (D,W). The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether these controlled water regimes affected both colonization of wetland grasses by AM fungi and the effects of the colonization on various plant parameters. 2Water regime, addition of inoculum, and their interaction were highly significant effects on total and proportion of root length colonized by AM fungi. Trends were very similar for the two grass species. Colonization was less and plants smaller in the W and W,D than in the D and D,W treatments. The viability of mycorrhiza at the end of the experiment, as measured by vital staining techniques, was not affected by changes in water level. 3Colonized plants in all water level treatments showed an improvement in phosphorus (P) nutrition over noncolonized plants. Colonized grasses of both species gained consistently more P per plant and had greater tissue P concentrations, with the greatest P concentration in the most heavily colonized plants (from the D and D,W treatments). 4The effect of flooding on the mycorrhizal association depended largely on the extent to which the association was already established when the flooding occurred. Flooding reduced the initiation of colonization either directly or indirectly, but once the fungi were established in the roots they were able to maintain and expand with the growing root system. [source]

    Effects of tractor wheeling on root morphology and yield of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.)

    GRASS & FORAGE SCIENCE, Issue 3 2008

    Summary The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of soil compaction on the herbage yield and root growth of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.). A field experiment was conducted on a silty loam Mollic Fluvisols soil in 2003,2006. Herbage yield and root morphology, in terms of root length density, mean root diameter, specific root length and distribution of dry matter (DM) in roots, were measured. Four compaction treatments were applied three times annually by tractor using the following number of passes: control without experimental traffic, two passes, four passes and six passes. The tractor traffic changed the physical properties of the soil by increasing bulk density and penetration resistance. Soil compaction also improved its water retention properties. These changes were associated with changes in root morphology and distribution of the DM in roots. Soil compaction resulted in higher proportions of the DM in roots, especially in the upper, 0,10 cm, soil horizon. Decreases in the root length density were observed in a root diameter range of 0·1,1·0 mm. It was also found that roots in a more compacted soil were significantly thicker. An effect of the root system of lucerne on soil compaction was observed. The root system of lucerne decreased the effects of soil compaction that had been recorded in the first and the second year of the experiment. An increase in the number of passes resulted in a decrease in the DM yield of herbage in the second and third harvests each year. [source]

    Suppression of Rhizoctonia solani diseases of sugar beet by antagonistic and plant growth-promoting yeasts

    K.A. El-Tarabily
    Abstract Aims:, Isolates of Candida valida, Rhodotorula glutinis and Trichosporon asahii from the rhizosphere of sugar beet in Egypt were examined for their ability to colonize roots, to promote plant growth and to protect sugar beet from Rhizoctonia solani AG-2-2 diseases, under glasshouse conditions. Methods and Results:, Root colonization abilities of the three yeast species were tested using the root colonization plate assay and the sand-tube method. In the root colonization plate assay, C. valida and T. asahii colonized 95% of roots after 6 days, whilst Rhod. glutinis colonized 90% of roots after 8 days. Root-colonization abilities of the three yeast species tested by the sand-tube method showed that roots and soils attached to roots of sugar beet seedlings were colonized to different degrees. Population densities showed that the three yeast species were found at all depths of the rhizosphere soil adhering to taproots up to 10 cm, but population densities were significantly (P < 0·05) greater in the first 4 cm of the root system compared with other root depths. The three yeast species, applied individually or in combination, significantly (P < 0·05) promoted plant growth and reduced damping off, crown and root rots of sugar beet in glasshouse trials. The combination of the three yeasts (which were not inhibitory to each other) resulted in significantly (P < 0·05) better biocontrol of diseases and plant growth promotion than plants exposed to individual species. Conclusions:, Isolates of C. valida, Rhod. glutinis and T. asahii were capable of colonizing sugar beet roots, promoting growth of sugar beet and protecting the seedlings and mature plants from R. solani diseases. This is the first successful attempt to use yeasts as biocontrol agents against R. solani which causes root diseases. Significance and Impact of the Study:, Yeasts were shown to provide significant protection to sugar beet roots against R. solani, a serious soil-borne root pathogen. Yeasts also have the potential to be used as biological fertilizers. [source]

    Plant and fungal identity determines pathogen protection of plant roots by arbuscular mycorrhizas

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2009
    Benjamin A. Sikes
    Summary 1.,A major benefit of the mycorrhizal symbiosis is that it can protect plants from below-ground enemies, such as pathogens. Previous studies have indicated that plant identity (particularly plants that differ in root system architecture) or fungal identity (fungi from different families within the Glomeromycota) can determine the degree of protection from infection by pathogens. Here, we test the combined effects of plant and fungal identity to assess if there is a strong interaction between these two factors. 2.,We paired one of two plants (Setaria glauca, a plant with a finely branched root system and Allium cepa, which has a simple root system) with one of six different fungal species from two families within the Glomeromycota. We assessed the degree to which plant identity, fungal identity and their interaction determined infection by Fusarium oxysporum, a common plant pathogen. 3.,Our results show that the interaction between plant and fungal identity can be an important determinant of root infection by the pathogen. Infection by Fusarium was less severe in Allium (simple root system) or when Setaria (complex root system) was associated with a fungus from the family Glomeraceae. We also detected significant plant growth responses to the treatments; the fine-rooted Setaria benefited more from associating with a member of the family Glomeraceae, while Allium benefited more from associating with a member of the family Gigasporaceae. 4.,Synthesis. This study supports previous claims that plants with complex root systems are more susceptible to infection by pathogens, and that the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis can reduce infection in such plants , provided that the plant is colonized by a mycorrhizal fungus that can offer protection, such as the isolates of Glomus used here. [source]

    Hairy Root and Its Application in Plant Genetic Engineering

    Zhi-Bi Hu
    Abstract Agrobacterium rhizogenes Conn. causes hairy root disease in plants. Hairy root-infected A. rhizogenes is characterized by a high growth rate and genetic stability. Hairy root cultures have been proven to be an efficient means of producing secondary metabolites that are normally biosynthesized in roots of differentiated plants. Furthermore, a transgenic root system offers tremendous potential for introducing additional genes along with the Ri plasmid, especially with modified genes, into medicinal plant cells with A. rhizogenes vector systems. The cultures have turned out to be a valuable tool with which to study the biochemical properties and the gene expression profile of metabolic pathways. Moreover, the cultures can be used to elucidate the intermediates and key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. The present article discusses various applications of hairy root cultures in plant genetic engineering and potential problems associated with them. (Managing editor: Wei Wang) [source]

    Effects of decreasing soil water content on seminal lateral roots of young maize plants


    Abstract Soil micropores that contain water at or below field capacity cannot be invaded by seminal or first-order lateral roots of maize plants because their root diameters are larger than 10 ,m. Hence, at soil-water levels below field capacity plant roots must establish a new pore system by displacement of soil particles in order to access soil water. We investigated how decreasing soil water content (SWC) influences growth and morphology of the root system of young maize plants. Plants were grown in rhizotrons 40,cm wide, 50,cm high, and approximately 0.7,cm thick. Five SWC treatments were established by addition of increasing amounts of water to soil and thorough mixing before filling the rhizotrons. No water was added to treatments 1,4 throughout the experiment. Treatment 5 was watered frequently throughout the experiment to serve as a control. Seminal-root length and SWC in soil layers 0,10, 10,20, 20,30, 30,40, and 40,50,cm were measured at intervals of 2,3 d on scanner images by image analysis. At 15 d after planting, for treatments 1,4 shoot dry weight and total root length were directly related to the amount of water added to the soil, and for treatments 4 and 5, total root length and shoot dry weights were similar. Length of seminal roots visible at the transparent surface of the rhizotron for all treatments was highest in the uppermost soil layer and decreased with distance from the soil surface. For all layers, seminal-root elongation rate was at maximum above a SWC of 0.17,cm3,cm,3, corresponding to a matric potential of ,30 kPa. With decreasing SWC, elongation rate decreased, and 20% of maximum seminal root elongation rate was observed below SWC of 0.05,cm3,cm,3. After destructive harvest for treatment 1,4, number of (root-) tips per unit length of seminal root was found uninfluenced over the range of initial SWC from 0.10 to 0.26,cm3,cm,3. However, initial SWC close to the permanent wilting point strongly increased number of tips. Average root length of first-order lateral (FOL) roots increased as initial SWC increased, and the highest length was found for the frequently watered treatment 5. The results of the study suggest that the ability to produce new FOL roots across a wide range of SWC may give maize an adaptive advantage, because FOL root growth can rapidly adapt to changing soil moisture conditions. [source]

    Raised and sunken bed technique for agroforestry on alkali soils of northwest India

    J. C. Dagar
    Abstract Many forest tree and fruit species can be raised on highly alkali soil (pH,>,10) but some of them such as pomegranate (Punica granatum) are unable to tolerate water stagnation. To avoid water stagnation problems during the monsoon the raised and sunken bed technique has been found suitable for agroforestry practices on highly alkali soil. One fruit-yielding pomegranate and one oil-yielding salvadora (Salvadora persica) plantation species were successfully grown on raised bunds to avoid water stagnation and rice,wheat and berseem,kallar grass rotation were grown on sunken-beds constructed for the purpose. The experiment was initiated in 1996 and the above two crop rotations were followed for two consecutive years starting in the summer season. Results of these experiments have also shown that good growth of plantations, on an average 4·3 to 4·9,t ha,1 rice (salt tolerant var. CSR-10) and 1·2 to 1·4,t ha,1 wheat (KRL 1,4), were obtained in sunken beds. In another rotation 21·3 to 36.8,t ha,1 fresh forage of kallar grass (Leptochloa fusca) and 44·9 to 47·8,t ha,1 fresh forage of berseem (Trifolium alexandrium) were obtained. After two years of the experiment, soil amelioration in terms of reduction in soil pH was significant. The effect of plantation in reducing soil pH showed that the pomegranate and salvadora both helped in reduction of soil pH, but the latter due to its well-developed lateral root system was more efficient in lowering the soil pH even at lower depths. The reduction in soil pH by the berseem,kallar grass rotation was better than under rice,wheat rotation. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Suboptimal temperature favors reserve formation in biennial carrot (Daucus carota) plants

    María V. González
    In response to suboptimal temperatures, temperate annual plants often increase root:shoot ratios, build-up carbohydrates and display typical morphological and anatomical changes. We know less about the responses of biennials such as carrot. As a model plant, carrot has the additional feature of two functionally and morphologically distinct root parts: the taproot, which stores carbohydrate and other compounds, and the fibrous root system involved in acquisition of water and nutrients. Here, we analyze the effects of temperature (12 vs 25°C) on growth, carbohydrate accumulation and whole-plant morphology in two carrot cultivars. Our working hypothesis is that suboptimal temperature favors active formation of reserve structures, rather than passive accumulation of storage carbohydrates. In comparison with plants grown at 25°C, plants grown at 12°C had: (1) higher fibrous root:shoot ratio (13%) , (2) thicker (10,15%) and smaller (up to two- to three-fold) leaves, (3) lower leaf cuticular permeance (two- to four-fold), (4) higher taproot:shoot ratio (two-fold), (5) higher phloem:xylem ratios in taproot (two- to six-fold), (6) unchanged percentage dry matter content (%DMC) in leaves, petioles or fibrous roots and (7) higher %DMC in taproot (20%). However, %DMC of individual taproot tissues (phloem and xylem) was unaffected by temperatures and was consistently higher in the phloem (up to 30%). Therefore, the higher %DMC of whole taproots at 12°C was attributed solely to the increased development of phloem tissue. Carrot, therefore, shares many of the most conspicuous elements of temperate plant responses to low temperatures. Consistently with our hypothesis, however, carrots grown at suboptimal temperature promoted reserve structures, rather than the increase in carbohydrate concentration typical of most temperate annual species and woody perennials. [source]

    The cell-cycle promoter cdc2aAt from Arabidopsis thaliana is induced in the lateral roots of the actinorhizal tree Allocasuarina verticillata during the early stages of the symbiotic interaction with Frankia

    Mame Ourèye Sy
    The symbiosis between the actinorhizal tree Allocasuarina verticillata and the actinomycete Frankia leads to the formation of root nodules inside which bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen. Actinorhizal nodule organogenesis starts with the induction of cell divisions in the root cortex and in the pericycle cells opposite protoxylem poles near Frankia -infected root hairs. To study the ability of Frankia to induce progression through the cell cycle, we monitored the expression of the ,-glucuronidase (gus) gene driven by the promoter from cdc2aAt, an Arabidopsis cyclin-dependent kinase gene that displays competence for cell division, during plant growth and nodule ontogenesis. In non-symbiotic tissues, the gus gene was mainly expressed in primary and secondary meristems of roots and shoots. Auxins and cytokinins were found to induce reporter gene activity in the root system of whole plants, showing that the promoter cdc2aAt displayed the same regulation by hormones in Allocasuarina as that reported in Arabidopsis. In transgenic nodules, gus expression was found to be restricted to the phellogen. During the early stages of the interaction between Frankia and the plant root system, cdc2aAt was strongly induced in the lateral roots surrounded by hyphae of the actinomycete. Histochemical analysis of ,-glucuronidase activity revealed that cells from the pericycle opposite protoxylem poles were very deeply stained. These data indicate that upon Frankia infection, cells from the lateral roots, and notably pericycle cells that can give rise to a nodule or a root primordium, prepare to re-enter the cell cycle. [source]

    Morphology and Anatomy of Shoot, Root, and Propagation Systems in Hoffmannseggia glauca

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 6 2007
    T. A. Kraus
    Abstract: Hoffmannseggia glauca is a perennial weed that has tubers and root-borne buds. Some authors only consider root tubers without mentioning root-borne buds, while others consider that more anatomic studies become necessary to determine the origin of these structures and to interpret their behaviour. The objectives are: to study the growth form of the plant in order to analyze the ontogeny of its propagation organs, and to study its shoot and root anatomical characters that affect water conductivity. Hoffmannseggia glauca was collected in Argentina. Development of its shoot and root systems was observed. Shoots and roots were processed to obtain histological slides. Macerations were prepared to study vessel members. Primary and lateral roots originate buds that develop shoots at the end of the first year. In winter, aerial parts die and only latent buds at soil surface level and subterranean organs remain. In the following spring, they develop innovation shoots. Roots show localized swellings (tuberous roots), due to a pronounced increase of ray thickness and parenchymatous proliferation in the root center. Root vessel members are wider than those of aerial and subterranean shoots. Early development of an extensive root system, presence of root borne buds, anatomic and physiological specialization of innovation shoots, capability of parenchymatous rays to originate buds and tuberous roots, and high water transport efficiency in subterranean organs lead Hoffmannseggia glauca to display higher colonization potential than other species. [source]

    Control of Nitrate Uptake by Phloem-Translocated Glutamine in Zea mays L. Seedlings

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2002
    P. Pal'ove-Balang
    Abstract: The putative role of glutamine, exported from leaves to roots, as a negative feedback signal for nitrate uptake was investigated in Zea mays L. seedlings. Glutamine (Gln) was supplied by immersion of the tip-cut leaves in a concentrated solution. Nitrate (NO3,) uptake was measured by its depletion in amino acid-free medium. The treatment with Gln resulted in a strong inhibition of nitrate uptake rate, accompanied by a significant enrichment of amino compounds in root tissue. The effect of N-availability on NO3, uptake was determined in split-root cultures. The plants were subjected to complete or localized N supply. Inducible NO3, uptake systems were also induced in N-deprived roots when the opposite side of the root system was supplied with KNO3. The inhibitory effect of Gln was unaffected by localized N supply on one side of the split-root. The potential role of Gln in the shoot-to-root control of NO3, uptake is discussed. [source]

    A physiological overview of the genetics of flowering time control

    Georges Bernier
    Summary Physiological studies on flowering time control have shown that plants integrate several environmental signals. Predictable factors, such as day length and vernalization, are regarded as ,primary', but clearly interfere with, or can even be substituted by, less predictable factors. All plant parts participate in the sensing of these interacting factors. In the case of floral induction by photoperiod, long-distance signalling is known to occur between the leaves and the shoot apical meristem (SAM) via the phloem. In the long-day plant, Sinapis alba, this long-distance signalling has also been shown to involve the root system and to include sucrose, nitrate, glutamine and cytokinins, but not gibberellins. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a number of genetic pathways controlling flowering time have been identified. Models now extend beyond ,primary' controlling factors and show an ever-increasing number of cross-talks between pathways triggered or influenced by various environmental factors and hormones (mainly gibberellins). Most of the genes involved are preferentially expressed in meristems (the SAM and the root tip), but, surprisingly, only a few are expressed preferentially or exclusively in leaves. However, long-distance signalling from leaves to SAM has been shown to occur in Arabidopsis during the induction of flowering by long days. In this review, we propose a model integrating physiological data and genes activated by the photoperiodic pathway controlling flowering time in early-flowering accessions of Arabidopsis. This model involves metabolites, hormones and gene products interacting as long- or short-distance signalling molecules. [source]

    Rice leaf growth and water potential are resilient to evaporative demand and soil water deficit once the effects of root system are neutralized

    PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 8 2010
    ABSTRACT Rice is known to be sensitive to soil water deficit and evaporative demand, with a greatest sensitivity of lowland-adapted genotypes. We have analysed the responses of plant water relations and of leaf elongation rate (LER) to soil water status and evaporative demand in seven rice genotypes belonging to different species, subspecies, either upland- or lowland-adapted. In the considered range of soil water potential (0 to ,0.6 MPa), stomatal conductance was controlled in such a way that the daytime leaf water potential was similar in well-watered, droughted or flooded conditions (isohydric behaviour). A low sensitivity of LER to evaporative demand was observed in the same three conditions, with small differences between genotypes and lower sensitivity than in maize. The sensitivity of LER to soil water deficit was similar to that of maize. A tendency towards lower sensitivities was observed in upland than lowland genotypes but with smaller differences than expected. We conclude that leaf water status and leaf elongation of rice are not particularly sensitive to water deficit. The main origin of drought sensitivity in rice may be its poor root system, whose effect was alleviated in the study presented here by growing plants in pots whose soil was entirely colonized by roots of all genotypes. [source]

    Jasmonic acid treatment to part of the root system is consistent with simulated leaf herbivory, diverting recently assimilated carbon towards untreated roots within an hour

    PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 9 2008
    ABSTRACT It is known that shoot application of jasmonic acid (JA) leads to an increased carbon export from leaves to stem and roots, and that root treatment with JA inhibits root growth. Using the radioisotope 11C, we measured JA effects on carbon partitioning in sterile, split-root, barley plants. JA applied to one root half reduced carbon partitioning to the JA-treated tissue within minutes, whereas the untreated side showed a corresponding , but slower , increase. This response was not observed when instead of applying JA, the sink strength of one root half was reduced by cooling it: there was no enhanced partitioning to the untreated roots. The slower response in the JA-untreated roots, and the difference between the effect of JA and temperature, suggest that root JA treatment caused transduction of a signal from the treated roots to the shoot, leading to an increase in carbon allocation from the leaves to the untreated root tissue, as was indeed observed 10 min after the shoot application of JA. This supports the hypothesis that the response of some plant species to both leaf and root herbivores may be the diversion of resources to safer locations. [source]

    Consequences of insect herbivory on grape fine root systems with different growth rates

    PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 7 2007
    ABSTRACT Herbivory tolerance has been linked to plant growth rate where plants with fast growth rates are hypothesized to be more tolerant of herbivory than slower-growing plants. Evidence supporting this theory has been taken primarily from observations of aboveground organs but rarely from roots. Grapevines differing in overall rates of new root production, were studied in Napa Valley, California over two growing seasons in an established vineyard infested with the sucking insect, grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae Fitch). The experimental vineyard allowed for the comparison of two root systems that differed in rates of new root tip production (a ,fast grower', Vitis berlandieri × Vitis rupestris cv. 1103P, and a slower-growing stock, Vitis riparia × Vitis rupestris cv. 101,14 Mgt). Each root system was grafted with a genetically identical shoot system (Vitis vinifera cv. Merlot). Using minirhizotrons, we did not observe any evidence of spatial or temporal avoidance of insect populations by root growth. Insect infestations were abundant throughout the soil profile, and seasonal peaks in phylloxera populations generally closely followed peaks in new root production. Our data supported the hypothesis that insect infestation was proportional to the number of growing tips, as indicated by similar per cent infestation in spite of a threefold difference in root tip production. In addition, infested roots of the fast-growing rootstock exhibited somewhat shorter median lifespans (60 d) than the slower-growing rootstock (85 d). Lifespans of uninfested roots were similar for the two rootstocks (200 d). As a consequence of greater root mortality of younger roots, infested root populations in the fast-growing rootstock had an older age structure. While there does not seem to be a trade-off between potential growth rate and relative rate of root infestation in these cultivars, our study indicates that a fast-growing root system may more readily shed infested roots that are presumably less effective in water and nutrient uptake. Thus, differences in root tip production may be linked to differences in the way plants cope with roots that are infested by sucking insects. [source]

    Aerenchyma formation and radial O2 loss along adventitious roots of wheat with only the apical root portion exposed to O2 deficiency

    PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 10 2003
    A. I. MALIK
    ABSTRACT This study investigated aerenchyma formation and function in adventitious roots of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) when only a part of the root system was exposed to O2 deficiency. Two experimental systems were used: (1) plants in soil waterlogged at 200 mm below the surface; or (2) a nutrient solution system with only the apical region of a single root exposed to deoxygenated stagnant agar solution with the remainder of the root system in aerated nutrient solution. Porosity increased two- to three-fold along the entire length of the adventitious roots that grew into the water-saturated zone 200 mm below the soil surface, and also increased in roots that grew in the aerobic soil above the water-saturated zone. Likewise, adventitious roots with only the tips growing into deoxygenated stagnant agar solution developed aerenchyma along the entire main axis. Measurements of radial O2 loss (ROL), taken using root-sleeving O2 electrodes, showed this aerenchyma was functional in conducting O2. The ROL measured near tips of intact roots in deoxygenated stagnant agar solution, while the basal part of the root remained in aerated solution, was sustained when the atmosphere around the shoot was replaced by N2. This illustrates the importance of O2 diffusion into the basal regions of roots within an aerobic zone, and the subsequent longitudinal movement of O2 within the aerenchyma, to supply O2 to the tip growing in an O2 deficient zone. [source]

    Limited movement of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in yellow passion flower in Brazil

    PLANT PATHOLOGY, Issue 2 2002
    R. Gioria
    Symptoms of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) on yellow passion flower (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa) are characterized by bright yellow mottling on leaves, starting at random points on the vine and diminishing in intensity towards the tip, which becomes symptomless as it grows. To determine whether symptomless portions of vines are CMV-free or represent latent infection, leaves with and without symptoms were collected from infected vines in the field. Biological, serological (plate-trapped antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, PTA-ELISA), Western blot and dot-blot hybridization assays showed that portions of the vines without symptoms were CMV-free. Vegetatively propagated vines with symptoms showed remission of symptoms on newly developed leaves. One year later, no CMV was detected in the upper leaves of these plants. Mechanically inoculated passion flower seedlings behaved similarly; symptoms were shown by few leaves after inoculation. Afterwards, plants became symptomless and CMV was not detected in the upper leaves or root system, 40 or 85 days after inoculation. The mechanism responsible for remission of symptoms accompanied by CMV disappearance is not known. [source]

    Differences in the structure, growth and survival of Parasenecio yatabei ramets with contrasting water relations on the slope of a stream bank

    Abstract Parasenecio yatabei (Asteraceae), a summer-green perennial herb, is widely distributed on sloping mountain stream banks in cool-temperate zone forests of Japan. We investigated the growth pattern, leaf longevity and leaf water relations of vegetatively independent plants (ramets) growing in two contrasting soil water conditions, that is, upper and lower stream banks (U ramets and L ramets, respectively). The objective of the present study was to clarify the physiological and morphological responses of the ramets to soil water conditions. Dry matter allocation to subterranean parts was higher in U ramets than in L ramets. The U ramet leaves survived for approximately 2 months longer than L ramet leaves. The ratio of subterranean part to aerial part dry matter was greater in U ramets than L ramets. Leaf mass per leaf area (LMA) tended to be greater in U ramets than L ramets throughout the growing season. The leaf bulk modulus of elasticity at full hydration was significantly higher in U ramets. Thus, ramet growth patterns and morphological traits varied with changing soil water conditions. The greater longevity of U ramet leaves may play a role in compensating for the reduced annual net carbon gain caused by lower photosynthetic activity. U ramets growing in environments with less water availability achieved high water-use efficiency by a high passive water absorption capacity via a progressed root system and high productivity via longer leaf longevity with higher LMA and elasticity. Therefore, P. yatabei growing along mountain streams could have the ability to colonize the upper bank through higher survivorship based on these traits. [source]

    Phytoremediation of arsenic in mining-contaminated areas: The future of transgenic technology

    REMEDIATION, Issue 4 2010
    Hossain M. Anawar
    A considerable number of contaminated mining sites in Europe and other parts of the world pose environmental hazards. Given the multifaceted benefits of phytoremediation, screening of plant communities grown in contaminated areas is being conducted to identify hyperaccumulating plant species. A few arsenic (As) hyperaccumulating plants are found in tropical countries; however, generally, they are not grown in contaminated mining sites of cold and temperate countries (Europe and other parts of the world). The transgenic plants identified to date are not believed to be suitable for commercial use of phytoremediation. A few tolerant plant species in mining sites that are found to have elevated As levels primarily concentrate As in their roots. The remediation potential of many of these tolerant plants is limited because of their slow growth and low biomass. Therefore, phytostabilization of contaminated mining sites using tolerant plant species with high biomass and a more extensive root system is the only solution to date in Europe and some other parts of the world. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    Germination and Initial Root Growth of Four Legumes as Affected by Landfill Biogas Atmosphere

    L. Marchiol
    The most important problem in the restoration of closed landfills is the production of toxic gases by decomposition of refuse. Such gases affect the root system of plants growing on these sites. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects induced by landfill biogas contamination on germination and initial root growth of Vicia villosa (hairy vetch), Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil), Trifolium pratense (red clover), and Trifolium repens (white clover). In laboratory conditions, simulated landfill and control gas were supplied to the seedlings. The composition of the simulated landfill gas used was: 16% O2, 8% CO2, 3% CH4, and 73% N2; a control gas was also tested (21% O2, 0. 035% CO2, and 78% N2). Percentage of germinated seeds was determined after 6 and 12 days from the starting date; at the same time qualitative assays of metabolic root functionality were also performed by using an agar technique in order to visualize changes in rhizosphere pH. At the end of the experiment, the length of the primary and secondary root was measured. Germination after 6 days was affected by the gas treatment; the landfill biogas caused a delay in germination with respect to the control in seeds of V. villosa and L. corniculatus. Root fresh weight and dry weight were significantly decreased by biogas treatment in V. villosa and T. repens. In contrast, root dry weight was higher in gas treated L. corniculatus and T. pratense compared to control seedlings. Total root system was significantly higher in treated T. pratense. The qualitative assay suggests, with the exception of T. pratense, a metabolic adjustment of the treated seedlings. Key words: restoration, landfill biogas, legumes. [source]

    Hormonal interplay during adventitious root formation in flooded tomato plants

    THE PLANT JOURNAL, Issue 4 2010
    Maria Laura Vidoz
    Summary Soil flooding, which results in a decline in the availability of oxygen to submerged organs, negatively affects the growth and productivity of most crops. Although tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is known for its sensitivity to waterlogging, its ability to produce adventitious roots (ARs) increases plant survival when the level of oxygen is decreased in the root zone. Ethylene entrapment by water may represent the first warning signal to the plant indicating waterlogging. We found that treatment with the ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and the auxin transport inhibitor 1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) resulted in a reduction of AR formation in waterlogged plants. We observed that ethylene, perceived by the Never Ripe receptor, stimulated auxin transport. In a process requiring the Diageotropica gene, auxin accumulation in the stem triggered additional ethylene synthesis, which further stimulated a flux of auxin towards to the flooded parts of the plant. Auxin accumulation in the base of the plant induces growth of pre-formed root initials. This response of tomato plants results in a new root system that is capable of replacing the original one when it has been damaged by submergence. [source]

    The maize (Zea mays L.) RTCS gene encodes a LOB domain protein that is a key regulator of embryonic seminal and post-embryonic shoot-borne root initiation

    THE PLANT JOURNAL, Issue 4 2007
    Graziana Taramino
    Summary Maize has a complex root system composed of different root types formed during different stages of development. The rtcs (rootless concerning crown and seminal roots) mutant is impaired in the initiation of the embryonic seminal roots and the post-embryonic shoot-borne root system. The primary root of the mutant shows a reduced gravitropic response, while its elongation, lateral root density and reaction to exogenously applied auxin is not affected. We report here the map-based cloning of the RTCS gene which encodes a 25.5 kDa LOB domain protein located on chromosome 1S. The RTCS gene has been duplicated during evolution. The RTCS-LIKE (RTCL) gene displays 72% sequence identity on the protein level. Both genes are preferentially expressed in roots. Expression of RTCS in coleoptilar nodes is confined to emerging shoot-borne root primordia. Sequence analyses of the RTCS and RTCL upstream genomic regions identified auxin response elements. Reverse transcriptase-PCR revealed that both genes are auxin induced. Microsynteny analyses between maize and rice genomes revealed co-linearity of 14 genes in the RTCS region. We conclude from our data that RTCS and RTCL are auxin-responsive genes involved in the early events that lead to the initiation and maintenance of seminal and shoot-borne root primordia formation. [source]

    Endogenous isoflavones are essential for the establishment of symbiosis between soybean and Bradyrhizobium japonicum

    THE PLANT JOURNAL, Issue 2 2006
    Senthil Subramanian
    Summary Legume iso/flavonoids have been implicated in the nodulation process, but questions remain as to their specific role(s), and no unequivocal evidence exists showing that these compounds are essential for nodulation. Two hypotheses suggest that the primary role of iso/flavonoids is their ability to induce rhizobial nod gene expression and/or their ability to modulate internal root auxin concentrations. The present work provides direct, genetic evidence that isoflavones are essential for nodulation of soybean roots because of their ability to induce the nodulation genes of Bradyrhizobium japonicum. Expression of isoflavone synthase (IFS), a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of isoflavones, is specifically induced by B. japonicum. When IFS was silenced using RNA interference in soybean hairy root composite plants, these plants had severely reduced nodulation. Surprisingly, pre-treatment of B. japonicum or exogenous application to the root system of either of the major soybean isoflavones, daidzein or genistein, failed to restore normal nodulation. Silencing of chalcone reductase led to very low levels of daidzein and increased levels of genistein, but did not affect nodulation, suggesting that the endogenous production of genistein was sufficient to support nodulation. Consistent with a role for isoflavones as endogenous regulators of auxin transport in soybean roots, silencing of IFS resulted in altered auxin-inducible gene expression and auxin transport. However, use of a genistein-hypersensitive B. japonicum strain or purified B. japonicum Nod signals rescued normal nodulation in IFS-silenced roots, indicating that the ability of isoflavones to modulate auxin transport is not essential to nodulation. [source]