Lateral Root Traits of Taxodium Hybrid ‘Zhongshanshan 406’ in Response to Drought Stress

in HortScience

Roots are vital organs for resource uptake. However, the knowledge regarding the extent by which responses in roots influence plant resistance is still poorly known. In this study, we examined the morphological and physiological responses of lateral roots of Taxodium hybrid ‘Zhongshanshan 406’ (Taxodium mucronatum♀ and Taxodium distichum♂, T. 406) to 8 (DS-8) and 12 days (DS-12) drought. Control plants (CK-8 and CK-12) were well-watered throughout the experiment. Results indicated that drought resulted in significantly decreased root length, surface area, volume, and biomass and a relatively high death rate of roots (>2 mm). Specific root length (SRL) and specific root surface area (SRA) of drought-stressed T. 406 plants were reduced to enhance resource uptake. Meanwhile, root relative water content (RWC) of T. 406 plants in CK-12 treatment was 5.81 times of those in DS-12 treatment. Under drought stress and root superoxide dismutase and ascorbic acid (ASA) activities, proline and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) contents consistently increased to benefit the elimination of O2. At the ultrastructural level, the organelle structure of T. 406 plant root tip was visibly damaged because of dehydration. The nucleus swelled and then exhibited uncommon features of disorganization and disruption. In short, our results provided substantial information about lateral root traits of T. 406 plants in response to drought stress, which is crucial to improve the drought resistance of Taxodium hybrid in the future breeding.

Contributor Notes

This work was supported by the Program of Innovation Capacity Construction of Jiangsu Province (BM2015019), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31570593), and the Jiangsu Agriculture Science and Technology Innovation Fund (JASTIF) [CX(16)1005].

Corresponding author. E-mail: jfhua2009@gmail.com.

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