How temperate trees respond to drier summers strongly depends on the drought susceptibility and the starch reserve of the very-fine roots (<0.5 mm in diameter). We performed morphological, physiological, chemical, and proteomic analyses on very-fine roots of Fagus sylvatica seedlings grown under moderate- and severe drought conditions. Moreover, to reveal the role of the starch reserves, a girdling approach was adopted to interrupt the flux of photosynthates toward the downstream sinks. Results show a seasonal sigmoidal growth pattern without evident mortality under moderate drought. After the severe-drought period, intact plants showed lower starch concentration and higher growth than those subjected to moderate drought, highlighting that very-fine roots rely on their starch reserves to resume growth. This behaviour caused them to die with the onset of autumn, which was not observed under moderate drought. These findings indicated that extreme dry soil conditions are needed for significant root death in beech seedlings and that mortality mechanisms are defined within individual compartments. The girdling treatment showed that the physiological responses of very-fine roots to severe drought stress are critically related to the altered load or the reduced transport velocity of the phloem and that the changes in starch allocation critically alter the distribution of biomass. Proteomic evidence revealed that the phloem flux-dependent response was characterized by the decrease of carbon enzymes and the establishment of mechanisms to avoid the reduction of the osmotic potential. The response independent from the aboveground mainly involved the alteration of primary metabolic processes and cell wall-related enzymes.

A multifaceted approach to reveal the very-fine root's response of Fagus sylvatica seedlings to different drought intensities

Domingo, Guido
Primo
;
Vannini, Candida
Secondo
;
Marsoni, Milena;Costantini, Elena;Bracale, Marcella;Di Iorio, Antonino
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

How temperate trees respond to drier summers strongly depends on the drought susceptibility and the starch reserve of the very-fine roots (<0.5 mm in diameter). We performed morphological, physiological, chemical, and proteomic analyses on very-fine roots of Fagus sylvatica seedlings grown under moderate- and severe drought conditions. Moreover, to reveal the role of the starch reserves, a girdling approach was adopted to interrupt the flux of photosynthates toward the downstream sinks. Results show a seasonal sigmoidal growth pattern without evident mortality under moderate drought. After the severe-drought period, intact plants showed lower starch concentration and higher growth than those subjected to moderate drought, highlighting that very-fine roots rely on their starch reserves to resume growth. This behaviour caused them to die with the onset of autumn, which was not observed under moderate drought. These findings indicated that extreme dry soil conditions are needed for significant root death in beech seedlings and that mortality mechanisms are defined within individual compartments. The girdling treatment showed that the physiological responses of very-fine roots to severe drought stress are critically related to the altered load or the reduced transport velocity of the phloem and that the changes in starch allocation critically alter the distribution of biomass. Proteomic evidence revealed that the phloem flux-dependent response was characterized by the decrease of carbon enzymes and the establishment of mechanisms to avoid the reduction of the osmotic potential. The response independent from the aboveground mainly involved the alteration of primary metabolic processes and cell wall-related enzymes.
2023
2023
Domingo, Guido; Vannini, Candida; Marsoni, Milena; Costantini, Elena; Bracale, Marcella; Di Iorio, Antonino
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2154531
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