Root cortical senescence decreases root respiration, nutrient content and radial water and nutrient transport in barley

Hannah M. Schneider, Tobias Wojciechowski, Johannes A. Postma, Kathleen M. Brown, Andreas Lücke, Viktoria Zeisler, Lukas Schreiber, Jonathan P. Lynch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The functional implications of root cortical senescence (RCS) are poorly understood. We tested the hypotheses that RCS in barley (1) reduces the respiration and nutrient content of root tissue; (2) decreases radial water and nutrient transport; and (3) is accompanied by increased suberization to protect the stele. Genetic variation for RCS exists between modern germplasm and landraces. Nitrogen and phosphorus deficiency increased the rate of RCS. Maximal RCS, defined as the disappearance of the entire root cortex, reduced root nitrogen content by 66%, phosphorus content by 63% and respiration by 87% compared with root segments with no RCS. Roots with maximal RCS had 90, 92 and 84% less radial water, nitrate and phosphorus transport, respectively, compared with segments with no RCS. The onset of RCS coincided with 30% greater aliphatic suberin in the endodermis. These results support the hypothesis that RCS reduces root carbon and nutrient costs and may therefore have adaptive significance for soil resource acquisition. By reducing root respiration and nutrient content, RCS could permit greater root growth, soil resource acquisition and resource allocation to other plant processes. RCS merits investigation as a trait for improving the performance of barley, wheat, triticale and rye under edaphic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1408
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Volume40
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hordeum vulgare
  • radial transport
  • suberin

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Root cortical senescence decreases root respiration, nutrient content and radial water and nutrient transport in barley'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this