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Plants 2018, 7(1), 15;

Relationships between Nutrient Heterogeneity, Root Growth, and Hormones: Evidence for Interspecific Variation

State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Engineering, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Current Address: Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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(1) Background: Plant roots respond to nutrients through root architecture that is regulated by hormones. Strong inter-specific variation in root architecture has been well documented, but physiological mechanisms that may control the variation have not. (2) Methods: We examined correlations between root architecture and hormones to seek clues on mechanisms behind root foraging behavior. In the green house at Beijing Normal University, hydroponic culture experiments were used to examine the root responses of four species—Callistephus chinensis, Solidago canadensis, Ailanthus altissima, Oryza sativa—to two nitrogen types (NO3 or NH4+), three nitrogen concentrations (low, medium, and high concentrations of 0.2, 1, and 18 mM, respectively) and two ways of nitrogen application (stable vs. variable). The plants were harvested after 36 days to measure root mass, 1st order root length, seminal root length for O. sativa, density of the 1st order laterals, seminal root number for O. sativa, the inter-node length of the 1st order laterals, and root hormone contents of indole-3-acetic acid, abscisic acid, and cytokinins (zeatin + zeatinriboside). (3) Results: Species differed significantly in their root architecture responses to nitrogen treatments. They also differed significantly in hormone responses to the nitrogen treatments. Additionally, the correlations between root architecture and hormone responses were quite variable across the species. Each hormone had highly species-specific relationships with root responses. (4) Conclusions: Our finding implies that a particular root foraging behavior is probably not controlled by the same biochemical pathway in all species. View Full-Text
Keywords: root growth; root hormones; root architecture; nitrogen treatment root growth; root hormones; root architecture; nitrogen treatment

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Dong, J.; Jones, R.H.; Mou, P. Relationships between Nutrient Heterogeneity, Root Growth, and Hormones: Evidence for Interspecific Variation. Plants 2018, 7, 15.

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