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Stimulation and inhibition of pine root growth by osmotic stress

Abstract : The effect of osmotic stress on the regulation of extension of roots of pine seedlings {Pinus pinaster Ait.) was studied. Extension rate (r) was measured as increase in root length, and as local growth rate (LGR) along the growing region. Turgor pressure (P) was measured over the same profile using the cell pressure probe. Correlation of LGR and P allowed changes in cell wall mechanical properties to be followed. In unstressed plants, differences in LGR along the root apex were owing to variations in the mechanical properties of the cell walls since P remained constant at 0-5 MPa along the first 10 mm of the root tip. Contrary to expectation, a moderate water stress of 0-15 MPa stimulated root growth despite a small reduction in P to 0-4 MPa. The walls of the expanding cells became looser, allowing enhanced growth in spite of reduced turgor. Examination of LGR showed that these changes occurred uniformly over the whole elongation zone. The advantage to the plant of this is discussed. Higher stresses (045 and 0-66 MPa) decreased cell turgor to a greater degree ( ^ 0-3 MPa) and decreased growth rate. At the highest stress (0-66 MPa), P was maximal in cells that were still elongating, resulting in a longitudinal gradient in turgor. In both treatments LGR remained unchanged at the apex ofthe growing zone. Wall loosening appeared to have occurred in this region. Pine root extension is therefore modulated by changes in cell wall properties, with cell wall loosening resulting in increased growth at moderate stress. It appears that growth under higher stresses is limited by inability to maintain turgor.
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Marie-Béatrice Triboulot, Jeremy Pritchard, Deri Tomos. Stimulation and inhibition of pine root growth by osmotic stress. New Phytologist, Wiley, 1995, 130 (2), pp.169-175. ⟨10.1111/j.1469-8137.1995.tb03038.x⟩. ⟨hal-02715164⟩



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