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Measurement and modelling of ABA signalling in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) during partial root-zone drying

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  • Department of Agroecology and Environment
  • Climate and Bioenergy
The objective of this study was to develop a simple mechanistic model to predict the magnitude of ABA signalling ([X-ABA]) of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) exposed to partial root-zone drying (PRD). Potatoes were grown in pots in a glasshouse with the roots split equally between two soil columns. At tuber initiation stage, plants were subjected to three irrigation treatments: (1) both soil columns were fully irrigated (FI) daily to a volumetric soil water content (theta) of 18.0%; (2) PRD, in which one soil column was irrigated daily to 18.0% while the other was allowed to dry, and the irrigation was shifted between columns when the theta of the drying soil column had decreased to 7-8%; (3) non-irrigation (NI), where irrigation was withheld after onset of treatments and lasted for 5 days until theta had decreased to 7%. In the PRD plants, the fraction of soil water extraction (FSWE) by the dry roots declined exponentially with declining soil water potential (Psi(soil-dry)); however, after shifting of irrigation, the previously dried roots immediately recovered the full capacity of water uptake. During the first PRD drying cycle, FI plants had the highest stomatal conductance (g(s)), and followed by PRD plants and NI plants had the lowest g(s). Photosynthesis (A) was similar for FI and PRD plants, and was significantly lower for the NI plants only on 3-4 days after treatment. In the NI plants, a linear relationship between Psi(soil) and [X-ABA] was obtained. Based on these relationships, a simple model predicting [X-ABA] in the PRD plants ([X-ABA](PRD)) was developed. Assuming that a constant [X-ABA] of 115 nM (similar to that found in the FI plants) originated from the wet roots; the simulation results indicated that irrigation should be shifted between the two sides when Psi(soil-dry) had decreased to similar to-80 kPa, and [X-ABA](PRD) had reached a peak of ca. 150 nM. However, the [X-ABA](PRD) predicted by the model was significantly lower than the measured value; whilst a simple average of [X-ABA] from the wet and the dry soil columns based on the [X-ABA]-Psi(soil) relationship better predicted [X-ABA](PRD). (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Pages (from-to)385-391
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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