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Drought stress condition increases root to shoot ratio via alteration of carbohydrate partitioning and enzymatic activity in rice seedlings

Xu, Wei, Cui, Kehui, Xu, Aihui, Nie, Lixiao, Huang, Jianliang, Peng, Shaobing
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2015 v.37 no.2 pp. 9
beta-fructofuranosidase, correlation, cultivars, drought, drought tolerance, enzyme activity, hydroponics, leaves, polyethylene, rice, root shoot ratio, roots, seedlings, starch, stems, sucrose, sucrose synthase, sucrose-phosphate synthase, water stress
To understand the underlying mechanism for plasticity in root to shoot ratio (R/S) in response to drought stress, two rice cultivars, Zhenshan97 (drought susceptible) and IRAT109 (drought resistant), were grown hydroponically, and R/S, carbohydrate concentration and partitioning, and activities of enzymes for sucrose conversion in seedlings exposed to drought stress condition (DS) imposed by polyethylene glycol ₆₀₀₀ were investigated. The R/S significantly increased under DS in comparison with that under well-watered condition. The proportion of dry matter and soluble sugar of roots markedly increased under DS. The R/S was negatively correlated with proportion of soluble sugar in stems, and positively with the proportions of soluble sugar and starch in roots. Drought stress condition significantly increased leaf sucrose-phosphate synthase (EC activity and root acid and neutral/alkaline invertase (EC activity. The R/S was positively correlated with leaf sucrose-phosphate synthase and root acid invertase activity, and negatively with leaf sucrose synthase activity in the cleavage direction. Our results indicate that the increase in R/S in response to DS is closely associated with the higher proportion of dry matter and soluble sugar in roots, and this occurs via an increase in leaf sucrose-phosphate synthase and root invertase activity, and thus more sucrose is available for transport from leaves to roots.