Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Single and Combined Abiotic Stress in Maize Root Morphology

Version 1 : Received: 14 December 2020 / Approved: 15 December 2020 / Online: 15 December 2020 (09:39:56 CET)

How to cite: Sorgonà, A.; Vescio, R.; Abenavoli, M.R. Single and Combined Abiotic Stress in Maize Root Morphology. Preprints 2020, 2020120362 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0362.v1). Sorgonà, A.; Vescio, R.; Abenavoli, M.R. Single and Combined Abiotic Stress in Maize Root Morphology. Preprints 2020, 2020120362 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0362.v1).

Abstract

Plants are continually exposed to multiple stresses, which co-occur in nature and the net effects are frequently more non-additive (i.e., synergistic or antagonistic) suggesting ‘unique’ responses respect to that of the individual stress. Further, plant stress responses are not uniforms showing a high spatial and temporal variability among and along the different organs. In this respect, the present work investigated the morphological responses of different root types (seminal, seminal lateral, primary, primary lateral) of maize plants exposed to single (drought and heat) and combined stress (drought + heat). Data were evaluated by a specific root image analysis system (WinRHIZO) and analyzed by uni- and multi-variate statistical analysis. The results indicated that primary root and their laterals were the types more sensitive to the single and combined stresses while the seminal laterals specifically responded to the combined only. Further, antagonistic and synergistic effects were observed for the specific traits in the primary and their laterals and in the seminal lateral roots in response to the combined stress. These results suggested that maize root system modified specific root types and traits to face with different stressful environmental conditions highlighting that the adaptation strategy to the combined stress may be different from that of the individual ones. The knowledge of “unique or shared” responses of plant to multiple stress can be utilized to develop varieties with broad spectrum stress tolerance.

Subject Areas

combined stresses; drought stress; heat stress; maize; root morphology; root types

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