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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01558

Deciphering root architectural traits involved to cope with water deficit in oat

  • 1Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
  • 2Julich Research Centre, Germany

Drought tolerance is a complex phenomenon comprising many physiological, biochemical and morphological changes at both aerial and below ground levels. We aim to reveal changes on root morphology that promote drought tolerance in oat in both seedling and adult plants. To this aim, we employed two oat genotypes, previously characterized as susceptible and tolerant to drought. Root phenotyping was carried out on young plants grown either in pots or in rhizotrons under controlled environments, and on adult plants grown in big containers under field conditions. Overall, the tolerant genotype showed an increased root length, branching rate, root surface, and length of fine roots, while coarse to fine ratio decreased as compared with the susceptible genotype. We also observed a high and significant correlation between various morphological root traits within and between experiments, identifying several of them as appropriate marker to identify drought tolerant oat genotypes. Stimulation of fine root growth was one of the most prominent responses to cope with gradual soil water depletion, in both seedling and adult plants. Although seedling experiments did not exactly match the response of adult plants, they were similarly informative for discriminating between tolerant and susceptible genotypes. This might contribute to easier and faster phenotyping of large amount of plants.

Keywords: root architecture, root morphology, root phenotyping, drought, oat, Adult plants, Rhizotron

Received: 18 Jul 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Canales, Nagel, Mueller, Rispail and Prats. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Elena Prats, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, 28006, Madrid, Spain, elena.prats@ias.csic.es