J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (5): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00450.x

• Stress & Phytochemistry •    

Aerenchyma Formed Under Phosphorus Deficiency Contributes to the Reduced Root Hydraulic Conductivity in Maize Roots

Mingshou Fan, Ruiqin Bai, Xuefeng Zhao and Jianhua Zhang   

Abstract: Root hydraulic conductivity has been shown to decrease under phosphorus (P) deficiency. This study investigated how the formation of aerenchyma is related to this change. Root anatomy, as well as root hydraulic conductivity was studied in maize (Zea mays L.) roots under different phosphorus nutrition conditions. Plant roots under P stress showed enhanced degradation of cortical cells and the aerenchyma formation was associated with their reduced root hydraulic conductivity, supporting our hypothesis that air spaces that form in the cortex of phosphorus-stressed roots impede the radial transport of water in a root cylinder. Further evidence came from the variation in aerenchyma formation due to genotypic differences. Five maize inbred lines with different porosity in their root cortex showed a significant negative correlation with their root hydraulic conductivity. Shoot relative water content was also found lower in P-deficient maize plants than that in P-sufficient ones when such treatment was prolonged enough, suggesting a limitation of water transport due to lowered root hydraulic conductivity of P-deficient plants.

Key words: aerenchyma, maize (Zea mays), phosphorus deficiency, root, root hydraulic conductivity.

Editorial Office, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Institute of Botany, CAS
No. 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China
Tel: +86 10 6283 6133 Fax: +86 10 8259 2636 E-mail: jipb@ibcas.ac.cn
Copyright © 2022 by the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Online ISSN: 1744-7909 Print ISSN: 1672-9072 CN: 11-5067/Q