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Partial and full root-zone drought stresses account for differentiate root-sourced signal and yield formation in primitive wheat

Batool, Asfa, Cheng, Zheng-Guo, Akram, Nudrat Aisha, Lv, Guang-Chao, Xiong, Jun-Lan, Zhu, Ying, Ashraf, Muhammad, Xiong, You-Cai
Plant methods 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 75
abscisic acid, antioxidant activity, cytokinins, diploidy, harvest index, phenotypic plasticity, plant adaptation, planting, pot culture, proline, reactive oxygen species, rhizosphere, soil-plant interactions, stomatal movement, tetraploidy, water use efficiency, wheat
BACKGROUND: Partial and full root-zone drought stresses are two widely used methods to induce soil drying in plant container-culture experiments. Two methods might lead to different observational results in plant water relation, such as non-hydraulic root-sourced signal (nHRS). We compared partial and full stress methods to induce nHRS in two diploids (MO1 and MO4) and two tetraploids (DM 22 and DM 31) wheat varieties under pot-culture conditions. Partial root-zone stress (PS) was performed using split-root alternative water supply method (one half wetting and the other drying) to induce the continuous operation of nHRS, and full root-zone stress (FS) was exposed to whole soil block to induce periodic operation of nHRS since jointing stage. RESULTS: We tested the two drought methods whether it influenced the nHRS mediated signalling and yield formation in primitive wheat species. Results showed that partial root-zone stress caused more increase in abscisic acid (ABA) production and decline in stomatal closure than full root-zone stress method. The incline in ABA was closely related to triggering reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and reducing cytokinin synthesis which, thereby, led to crosstalk with other signalling molecules. Furthermore, PS up-regulated the antioxidant defense system and proline content. Water use efficiency and harvest index was significantly increased in PS, suggesting that PS was more likely to simulate the occurrence of nHRS by increasing the adaptive strategies of plants and closer to natural status of soil drying than FS. CONCLUSION: These findings lead us to conclude that partial root-zone stress method is more feasible method to induce nHRS which has great capacity to reduce water consumption and enhance plant adaptation to constantly changing environment. These observations also suggest that different root-zone planting methods can be considered to improve the plant phenotypic plasticity and tolerance in water-limited rainfed environments.