Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The contrasting influence of short-term hypoxia on the hydraulic properties of cells and roots of wheat and lupin

Helen Bramley A B D E , Neil C. Turner C D , David W. Turner B and Stephen D. Tyerman A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide (Waite Campus), Plant Research Centre, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia.

B School of Plant Biology, M084, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

C Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, M080, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

D Institute of Agriculture, M082, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: helen.bramley@uwa.edu.au

Functional Plant Biology 37(3) 183-193 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP09172
Submitted: 10 July 2009  Accepted: 18 December 2009   Published: 25 February 2010

Abstract

Little is known about water flow across intact root cells and roots in response to hypoxia. Responses may be rapid if regulated by aquaporin activity, but only if water crosses membranes. We measured the transport properties of roots and cortical cells of three important crop species in response to hypoxia (0.05 mol O2 m–3): wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) and yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus L.). Hypoxia influenced solute transport within minutes of exposure as indicated by increases in root pressure (Pr) and decreases in turgor pressure (Pc), but these effects were only significant in lupins. Re-aeration returned Pr to original levels in yellow lupin, but in narrow-leafed lupin, Pr declined to zero or lower values without recovery even when re-aerated. Hypoxia inhibited hydraulic conductivity of root cortical cells (Lpc) in all three species, but only inhibited hydraulic conductivity of roots (Lpr) in wheat, indicating different pathways for radial water flow across lupin and wheat roots. The inhibition of Lpr of wheat depended on the length of the root, and inhibition of Lpc in the endodermis could account for the changes in Lpr. During re-aeration, aquaporin activity increased in wheat roots causing an overshoot in Lpr. The results of this study demonstrate that the roots of these species not only vary in hydraulic properties but also vary in their sensitivity to the same external O2 concentration.

Additional keywords: hydraulic conductivity, oxygen deficiency, pressure probe, root pressure, turgor pressure.


Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) of Australia and Australian Research Council for funding.


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