Hydraulic conductivity and anatomy for lateral roots of Agave deserti during root growth and drought-induced abscission

Huang, B.; Nobel, P.S.

Journal of Experimental Botany 43(256): 1441-1449


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0957
DOI: 10.1093/jxb/43.11.1441
Accession: 002400808

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Hydraulic conductivity (L-p), radial conductivity (L-R), axial conductase (K-h), and related anatomical characteristics for lateral roots of Agave deserti were investigated during root growth and drought-induced abscission. The elongation rate of lateral roots averaged 5 mm d-1 under wet conditions and was reduced 95% by 17 d of drought (psi-soil lt -0.5 MPa);p 46% of such roots abscised at 21 d of drought. Under wet conditions, L-p decreased with age up to 30 d, mainly reflecting suberization of endodermal cells. L-p and L-R decreased basipetally along the roots under wet conditions and after 18 d of drought and were lower in the case of drought, both responses reflecting increases in the number of suberized endodermal cells. In contrast, L-p and L-R increased basipetally along abscised roots at 35 d of drought, presumably due to the collapse of cortical cells. K-h increased with distance from the root tip; the greatest increase, while coincided with the loss of cross walls in late metaxylem vessels, occurred closer to the tip for roots from droughted plants compared with well-watered plants. K-h was reduced during drought by embolism of the xylem vessels, similar to the results for other studies.