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Plant Cell Environ. 2012 Sep;35(9):1618-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02513.x. Epub 2012 May 1.

Enhanced formation of aerenchyma and induction of a barrier to radial oxygen loss in adventitious roots of Zea nicaraguensis contribute to its waterlogging tolerance as compared with maize (Zea mays ssp. mays).

Author information

1
Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, 1-1 Ohwashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8686, Japan.

Abstract

Enhancement of oxygen transport from shoot to root tip by the formation of aerenchyma and also a barrier to radial oxygen loss (ROL) in roots is common in waterlogging-tolerant plants. Zea nicaraguensis (teosinte), a wild relative of maize (Zea mays ssp. mays), grows in waterlogged soils. We investigated the formation of aerenchyma and ROL barrier induction in roots of Z. nicaraguensis, in comparison with roots of maize (inbred line Mi29), in a pot soil system and in hydroponics. Furthermore, depositions of suberin in the exodermis/hypodermis and lignin in the epidermis of adventitious roots of Z. nicaraguensis and maize grown in aerated or stagnant deoxygenated nutrient solution were studied. Growth of maize was more adversely affected by low oxygen in the root zone (waterlogged soil or stagnant deoxygenated nutrient solution) compared with Z. nicaraguensis. In stagnant deoxygenated solution, Z. nicaraguensis was superior to maize in transporting oxygen from shoot base to root tip due to formation of larger aerenchyma and a stronger barrier to ROL in adventitious roots. The relationships between the ROL barrier formation and suberin and lignin depositions in roots are discussed. The ROL barrier, in addition to aerenchyma, would contribute to the waterlogging tolerance of Z. nicaraguensis.

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