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A DNA-based method for studying root responses to drought in field-grown wheat genotypes.

Huang CY, Kuchel H, Edwards J, Hall S, Parent B, Eckermann P - Sci Rep (2013)

Bottom Line: Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops.Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field.The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, South Australia, 5064, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to drought in controlled environment and field trials. To allow comparison of soil DNA concentrations from different wheat genotypes, we also developed a procedure for correcting genotypic differences in the copy number of the target DNA sequence. The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.

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Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight, root length density and root DNA density on wheat plants grown in pots under a controlled environment.Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight (a), root length density (b) and root DNA density (c) of two wheat cultivars, Kukri and Gladius. Soil moisture tension in the stable and moderate treatment was maintained at −0.4 MPa for four weeks after sowing until flowering. Well watered (WW) plants were the control. Plants were grown in a controlled climate environment. Means of five replicates are represented. There are significant differences in shoot dry weight and RLD for interactions of genotype × drought (P < 0.05). The differences in RDD for the genotypes and drought treatments were significant (P < 0.006), but the interaction of genotype × drought was not significant (P = 0.56). Vertical lines indicate the least significant difference at P = 0.05.
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f2: Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight, root length density and root DNA density on wheat plants grown in pots under a controlled environment.Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight (a), root length density (b) and root DNA density (c) of two wheat cultivars, Kukri and Gladius. Soil moisture tension in the stable and moderate treatment was maintained at −0.4 MPa for four weeks after sowing until flowering. Well watered (WW) plants were the control. Plants were grown in a controlled climate environment. Means of five replicates are represented. There are significant differences in shoot dry weight and RLD for interactions of genotype × drought (P < 0.05). The differences in RDD for the genotypes and drought treatments were significant (P < 0.006), but the interaction of genotype × drought was not significant (P = 0.56). Vertical lines indicate the least significant difference at P = 0.05.

Mentions: Root responses to drought were initially studied in pot-grown plants in a controlled environment. As root length density (RLD) is often used to measure root growth in pot and field-grown plants31, both RLD and root DNA density (RDD) were examined in two wheat cultivars, Kukri and Gladius for root response to stable and moderate drought (−0.4 MPa soil water potential). The drought treatment started after seedling establishment and ended at flowering. Genotypic differences in shoot dry weight at flowering were significant in the well-watered plants between Kukri and Gladius, but not in the drought-treated plants (Fig. 2a). The drought treatment reduced shoot growth by 35% in Gladius and 53% for Kukri relative to the well watered controls (Fig. 2a). Differences in RLD were similar to shoot dry weight for the genotypes and water treatments (Fig. 2b). Kukri had significantly higher RLD than Gladius in the well-watered plants, but no difference in RLD was observed between the two genotypes exposed to the drought treatment (Fig. 2b). The reduction in RLD by the drought treatment was 46% in Gladius and 60% in Kukri (Fig. 2b). In contrast, Gladius had significantly higher overall RDD than Kukri regardless of the water treatments (Fig. 2c). The drought treatment significantly reduced RDD by approximately 30% in both genotypes relative to that of the well watered treatment (Fig. 2c). These results indicate that RDD detects root responses to the drought as RLD, and reveals the difference between RDD and RLD.


A DNA-based method for studying root responses to drought in field-grown wheat genotypes.

Huang CY, Kuchel H, Edwards J, Hall S, Parent B, Eckermann P - Sci Rep (2013)

Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight, root length density and root DNA density on wheat plants grown in pots under a controlled environment.Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight (a), root length density (b) and root DNA density (c) of two wheat cultivars, Kukri and Gladius. Soil moisture tension in the stable and moderate treatment was maintained at −0.4 MPa for four weeks after sowing until flowering. Well watered (WW) plants were the control. Plants were grown in a controlled climate environment. Means of five replicates are represented. There are significant differences in shoot dry weight and RLD for interactions of genotype × drought (P < 0.05). The differences in RDD for the genotypes and drought treatments were significant (P < 0.006), but the interaction of genotype × drought was not significant (P = 0.56). Vertical lines indicate the least significant difference at P = 0.05.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3824167&req=5

f2: Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight, root length density and root DNA density on wheat plants grown in pots under a controlled environment.Effect of stable and moderate drought on shoot dry weight (a), root length density (b) and root DNA density (c) of two wheat cultivars, Kukri and Gladius. Soil moisture tension in the stable and moderate treatment was maintained at −0.4 MPa for four weeks after sowing until flowering. Well watered (WW) plants were the control. Plants were grown in a controlled climate environment. Means of five replicates are represented. There are significant differences in shoot dry weight and RLD for interactions of genotype × drought (P < 0.05). The differences in RDD for the genotypes and drought treatments were significant (P < 0.006), but the interaction of genotype × drought was not significant (P = 0.56). Vertical lines indicate the least significant difference at P = 0.05.
Mentions: Root responses to drought were initially studied in pot-grown plants in a controlled environment. As root length density (RLD) is often used to measure root growth in pot and field-grown plants31, both RLD and root DNA density (RDD) were examined in two wheat cultivars, Kukri and Gladius for root response to stable and moderate drought (−0.4 MPa soil water potential). The drought treatment started after seedling establishment and ended at flowering. Genotypic differences in shoot dry weight at flowering were significant in the well-watered plants between Kukri and Gladius, but not in the drought-treated plants (Fig. 2a). The drought treatment reduced shoot growth by 35% in Gladius and 53% for Kukri relative to the well watered controls (Fig. 2a). Differences in RLD were similar to shoot dry weight for the genotypes and water treatments (Fig. 2b). Kukri had significantly higher RLD than Gladius in the well-watered plants, but no difference in RLD was observed between the two genotypes exposed to the drought treatment (Fig. 2b). The reduction in RLD by the drought treatment was 46% in Gladius and 60% in Kukri (Fig. 2b). In contrast, Gladius had significantly higher overall RDD than Kukri regardless of the water treatments (Fig. 2c). The drought treatment significantly reduced RDD by approximately 30% in both genotypes relative to that of the well watered treatment (Fig. 2c). These results indicate that RDD detects root responses to the drought as RLD, and reveals the difference between RDD and RLD.

Bottom Line: Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops.Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field.The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, South Australia, 5064, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to drought in controlled environment and field trials. To allow comparison of soil DNA concentrations from different wheat genotypes, we also developed a procedure for correcting genotypic differences in the copy number of the target DNA sequence. The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus