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Mucilage exudation facilitates root water uptake in dry soils

Title data

Ahmed, Mutez Ali ; Kroener, Eva ; Holz, Maire ; Zarebanadkouki, Mohsen ; Carminati, Andrea:
Mucilage exudation facilitates root water uptake in dry soils.
In: Functional Plant Biology. Vol. 41 (2014) Issue 11 . - pp. 1129-1137.
ISSN 1445-4416
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/FP13330

Abstract in another language

As plant roots take up water and the soil dries, water depletion is expected to occur in the rhizosphere. However, recent experiments showed that the rhizosphere was wetter than the bulk soil during root water uptake. We hypothesise that the increased water content in the rhizosphere was caused by mucilage exuded by roots. It is probably that the higher water content in the rhizosphere results in higher hydraulic conductivity of the root–soil interface. In this case, mucilage exudation would favour the uptake of water in dry soils. To test this hypothesis, we covered a suction cup, referred to as an artificial root, with mucilage. We placed it in soil with a water content of 0.03 cm3 cm–3, and used the root pressure probe technique to measure the hydraulic conductivity of the root–soil continuum. The results were compared with measurements with roots not covered with mucilage. The root pressure relaxation curves were fitted with a model of root water uptake including rhizosphere dynamics. The results demonstrated that when mucilage is added to the root surface, it keeps the soil near the roots wet and hydraulically well conductive, facilitating the water flow from dry soils towards the root surface. Mucilage exudation seems to be an optimal plant trait that favours the capture of water when water is scarce.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER142655
Keywords: Artificial root; Chia seeds; Rhizosphere; Root pressure probe; Salvia hispanica
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics > Chair Soil Physics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 09:52
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2018 07:39
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/41446