J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (3): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00021.x

• Research Articles •    

Phosphate Availability Alters Lateral Root Anatomy and Root Architecture of Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr. Seedlings

Chu WU, Xing WEI, Hai-Long SUN,Zheng-Quan WANG   

Abstract: Plants have evolved some mechanisms to maximize the efficiency of phosphorus acquisition. Changes in root architecture are one such mechanism. When Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr. seedlings were grown under conditions of low phosphorus availability, the length of cells in the meristem zone of the lateral roots was longer, but the length of cells in the elongation and mature zones of the lateral roots was shorter, compared with seedlings grown under conditions of high phosphorus availability. The elongation rates of primary roots increased as phosphorus availability increased, but the elongation rates of the branched zones of the primary roots decreased. The number of lateral root primordia and the length of the lateral roots decreased as phosphorus availability increased. The topological index (altitude slope) decreased as phosphorus availability increased, suggesting that root architecture tended to be herringbone-like when seedlings were grown under conditions of low phosphate availability. Herringbone-like root systems exploit nutrients more efficiently, but they have higher construction costs than root systems with a branching pattern.

Key words: Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr., lateral root anatomy, phosphate availability, root architecture.

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