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Article

Electrical Capacitance versus Minirhizotron Technique: A Study of Root Dynamics in Wheat–Pea Intercrops

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Centre for Agricultural Research, Institute for Soil Sciences, ELKH, Herman Ottó út 15, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary
2
Centre for Agricultural Research, Agricultural Institute, ELKH, Brunszvik u. 2, H-2462 Martonvásár, Hungary
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Department Plant Physiology and Molecular Plant Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter Stny. 1A, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rui Manuel Almeida Machado
Plants 2021, 10(10), 1991; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10101991
Received: 1 September 2021 / Revised: 20 September 2021 / Accepted: 22 September 2021 / Published: 23 September 2021
This study evaluated the concurrent application and the results of the root electrical capacitance (CR) and minirhizotron (MR) methods in the same plant populations. The container experiment involved three winter wheat cultivars, grown as sole crops or intercropped with winter pea under well-watered or drought-stressed conditions. The wheat root activity (characterized by CR) and the MR-based root length (RL) and root surface area (RSA) were monitored during the vegetation period, the flag leaf chlorophyll content was measured at flowering, and the wheat shoot dry mass (SDM) and grain yield (GY) were determined at maturity. CR, RL and RSA exhibited similar seasonal patterns with peaks around the flowering. The presence of pea reduced the maximum CR, RL and RSA. Drought significantly decreased CR, but increased the MR-based root size. Both intercropping and drought reduced wheat chlorophyll content, SDM and GY. The relative decrease caused by pea or drought in the maximum CR was proportional to the rate of change in SDM or GY. Significant linear correlations (R2: 0.77–0.97) were found between CR and RSA, with significantly smaller specific root capacitance (per unit RSA) for the drought-stress treatments. CR measurements tend to predict root function and the accompanying effect on above-ground production and grain yield. The parallel application of the two in situ methods improves the evaluation of root dynamics and plant responses. View Full-Text
Keywords: cereal–legume intercrops; drought stress; grain yield; in situ root methods; root growth cereal–legume intercrops; drought stress; grain yield; in situ root methods; root growth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cseresnyés, I.; Kelemen, B.; Takács, T.; Füzy, A.; Kovács, R.; Megyeri, M.; Parádi, I.; Mikó, P. Electrical Capacitance versus Minirhizotron Technique: A Study of Root Dynamics in Wheat–Pea Intercrops. Plants 2021, 10, 1991. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10101991

AMA Style

Cseresnyés I, Kelemen B, Takács T, Füzy A, Kovács R, Megyeri M, Parádi I, Mikó P. Electrical Capacitance versus Minirhizotron Technique: A Study of Root Dynamics in Wheat–Pea Intercrops. Plants. 2021; 10(10):1991. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10101991

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cseresnyés, Imre, Bettina Kelemen, Tünde Takács, Anna Füzy, Ramóna Kovács, Mária Megyeri, István Parádi, and Péter Mikó. 2021. "Electrical Capacitance versus Minirhizotron Technique: A Study of Root Dynamics in Wheat–Pea Intercrops" Plants 10, no. 10: 1991. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10101991

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