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Open AccessArticle

Male and Female Plants of Salix viminalis Perform Similarly to Flooding in Morphology, Anatomy, and Physiology

1
School of Architectural and Artistic Design, Henan Polytechnic University, Century Avenue, Jiaozuo 454000, China
2
College of Horticulture and Landscape, Henan Vocational College of Agriculture, Zhengzhou 451450, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 10091, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030321
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 8 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms and Consequences of Tree Responses to Water Stresses)
Salix viminalis L., a dioecious species, is widely distributed in riparian zones, and flooding is one of the most common abiotic stresses that this species suffers. In this study, we investigated the morphological, anatomical, and physiological responses of male vs. female plants of S. viminalis to flooding. The results showed that the plant height and root collar diameter were stimulated by flooding treatment, which corresponded with higher dry weight of the stem and leaf. However, the dry weight of the underground part decreased, which might be due to the primary root having stopped growing. The little-influenced net photosynthesis rate (Pn) under flooding treatment could guarantee rapid growth of the aboveground part, while the unaffected leaf anatomical structure and photosynthetic pigment contents could ensure the normal operation of photosynthetic apparatus. Under a flooding environment, the production ratio of superoxide free radical (O2∙-) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents increased, indicating that the cell membrane was damaged and oxidative stress was induced. At the same time, the antioxidant enzyme system, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and osmotic adjustment substances, involving proline (Pro) and solute protein (SP), began to play a positive role in resisting flooding stress. Different from our expectation, the male and female plants of S. viminalis performed similarly under flooding, and no significant differences were discovered. The results indicate that both male and female plants of S. viminalis are tolerant to flooding. Thus, both male and female plants of S. viminalis could be planted in frequent flooding zones. View Full-Text
Keywords: willow; dioecious plant; gender difference; anatomical structure; gas exchange; antioxidant enzyme; osmotic adjustment willow; dioecious plant; gender difference; anatomical structure; gas exchange; antioxidant enzyme; osmotic adjustment
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Zhai, F.-F.; Li, H.-D.; Zhang, S.-W.; Li, Z.-J.; Liu, J.-X.; Qian, Y.-Q.; Ju, G.-S.; Zhang, Y.-X.; Liu, L.; Han, L.; Sun, Z.-Y. Male and Female Plants of Salix viminalis Perform Similarly to Flooding in Morphology, Anatomy, and Physiology. Forests 2020, 11, 321.

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