Drought- and soil substrate-induced variations in root nonstructural carbohydrates result from fine root morphological and anatomical traits of Juglans mandshurica seedlings

BMC Plant Biol. 2023 Feb 7;23(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s12870-022-03987-x.


BACKGROUND: Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) reflect the carbon supply status and affect the construction and development of plants. Previous studies have focused on the dynamics of NSCs among plant organs, however, few studies have paid attention to the synergistic variations between fine root traits and NSCs under drought based on the perspective of branch order roots. This study aims to explore the responses of fine root traits and NSCs among root orders of Juglans mandshurica seedlings under different drought intensities and soil substrates. The 2-year-old J. mandshurica potted seedlings were planted in three different soil substrates (humus, loam and sandy-loam soil) and subjected to four drought intensities (CK, mild drought T1, moderate drought T2 and severe drought T3) for 60 days.

RESULTS: The root biomass of seedlings in sandy-loam soil under the same drought intensity was higher than that of seedlings in humus soil. With an increase in drought, the root biomass, average diameter, root tissue density and cortex thickness decreased significantly, and the specific root length, stele diameter and conduit density increased. The root NSC contents in humus soil were higher than those in sandy-loam soil. The fine root soluble sugar content in all soil substrates decreased with increasing drought intensity, while the root starch and total NSC contents varied among the different soil substrates. Compared with transportive roots, the morphological and anatomical traits jointly explained the higher variation in NSC contents of the absorptive roots. The anatomical traits explained the higher variation in the NSC content of first five order roots.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that coordinated adaptation of the root traits and NSCs of Manchurian walnut seedlings exposed to water gradients in different soil substrates.

PMID:36750810 | DOI:10.1186/s12870-022-03987-x


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