J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2019, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (4): 449-462.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12716

Special Issue: Abiotic Stresses

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Rhizosheath formation and involvement in foxtail millet (Setaria italica) root growth under drought stress

Tie-Yuan Liu1†, Nenghui Ye2,3†, Tao Song1,3, Yunying Cao1,4, Bei Gao1, Di Zhang1, Fuyuan Zhu1,3, Moxian Chen1,3, Yingjiao Zhang5, Weifeng Xu5* and Jianhua Zhang1,3*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences and State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
    2Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops in China, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
    3Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China
    4College of Life Sciences, Nantong University, Nantong 226019, China
    5Center for Plant Water-use and Nutrition Regulation and College of Life Sciences, Joint International Research Laboratory of Water and Nutrient in Crop, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work
    Email: Jianhua Zhang (jzhang@hkbu.edu.hk); Weifeng Xu (wfxu@fafu.edu.cn; Xu is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2018-06-22 Accepted:2018-09-03 Online:2018-09-05 Published:2019-04-01

Abstract: The rhizosheath, a layer of soil particles that adheres firmly to the root surface by a combination of root hairs and mucilage, may improve tolerance to drought stress. Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv. (foxtail millet), a member of the Poaceae family, is an important food and fodder crop in arid regions and forms a larger rhizosheath under drought conditions. Rhizosheath formation under drought conditions has been studied, but the regulation of root hair growth and rhizosheath size in response to soil moisture remains unclear. To address this question, in this study we monitored root hair growth and rhizosheath development in response to a gradual decline in soil moisture. Here, we determined that a soil moisture level of 10%–14% (w/w) stimulated greater rhizosheath production compared to other soil moisture levels. Root hair density and length also increased at this soil moisture level, which was validated by measurement of the expression of root hair-related genes. These findings contribute to our understanding of rhizosheath formation in response to soil water stress.

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