Prolonged drying cycles stimulate ABA accumulation in Citrus macrophylla seedlings exposed to partial rootzone drying

Pérez-Pérez, J.G. and Navarro, J.M. and Robles, J.M. and Dodd, I.C. (2018) Prolonged drying cycles stimulate ABA accumulation in Citrus macrophylla seedlings exposed to partial rootzone drying. Agricultural Water Management, 210. pp. 271-278. ISSN 0378-3774

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Partial rootzone drying (PRD) establishes discrete wet and dry parts of the rootzone (for example using parallel drip lines on either side of the crop row), and alternates them to stimulate root growth and root-to-shoot ABA signalling. To assess whether alternation frequency affects plant physiological responses, Citrus macrophylla Wester seedlings were grown with the root system split between two pots and 5 irrigation treatments applied: Control, PRD-Fixed (where wet and dry parts of the rootzone were not alternated) and three alternate PRD treatments where the wet and dry parts were swapped at 3 (PRD1), 6 (PRD2) and 12 (PRD3) days intervals, to dry the soil to different degrees before alternating the irrigation. Water was equally distributed between both pots in Control plants, whereas only one pot was watered and the other allowed to dry in PRD plants, with all plants receiving the same irrigation volume. After 24 days, soil water content (θv), leaf water potential (Ψleaf), root water potential (Ψroot), abscisic acid (ABA) concentration in roots ([ABA]root), leaves ([ABA]leaf) and shoot xylem sap ([X-ABA]shoot), biomass allocation and leaf area were measured. Higher soil water availability of the dry side (PRD1 and PRD2) had no significant effects on leaf water relations, ABA status and plant biomass allocation. However, increasing the duration of exposure of part of the root system to dry soil (PRD3 and PRD-Fixed) further decreased Ψroot and stimulated root ABA accumulation, while decreasing Ψleaf and increasing [ABA]leaf of PRD3 plants compared to the other treatments. Differences in physiological response between PRD3 and PRD-Fixed plants were attributed to differences in the proportion of root mass exposed to drying soil: PRD3 plants had a lower Ψleaf and a higher [ABA]leaf with a smaller proportion of their root mass in wet soil. Since long drying cycles were required to alter plant biomass allocation and physiological responses in PRD plants, these should be implemented in designing suitable PRD strategies for field application.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Agricultural Water Management
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Agricultural Water Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Agricultural Water Management, 210, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2018.08.020
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? plant water relationsgas exchangebiomass partitionabavegetative developmentwater science and technologyearth-surface processessoil scienceagronomy and crop science ??
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Deposited On:
14 Sep 2018 10:18
Last Modified:
04 Jan 2024 00:20