MIZ1-regulated hydrotropism functions in the growth and survival of Arabidopsis thaliana under natural conditions

Satoru Iwata, Yutaka Miyazawa, Nobuharu Fujii, Hideyuki Takahashi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Background and Aims Root hydrotropism is a response towater-potential gradients that makes roots bend towards areas of higher water potential. The gene MIZU-KUSSEI1 (MIZ1) that is essential for hydrotropism in Arabidopsis roots has previously been identified.However, the role of root hydrotropism in plant growth and survival under natural conditions has not yet been proven. This study assessed howhydrotropic response contributes to drought avoidance in nature. MethodsAn experimental systemwas established for the study of Arabidopsis hydrotropism in soil. Characteristics of hydrotropism were analysed by comparing the responses of the miz1 mutant, transgenic plants overexpressing MIZ1 (MIZ1OE) and wild-type plants. Key ResultsWild-type plants developed root systems in regions with higher water potential, whereas the roots of miz1 mutant plants did not show a similar response. This pattern of root distribution induced by hydrotropism was more pronounced in MIZ1OE plants than in wild-type plants. In addition, shoot biomass and the number of plants that survived under drought conditions were much greater in MIZ1OE plants. Conclusions These results show that hydrotropism plays an important role in root system development in soil and contributes to drought avoidance, which results in a greater yield and plant survival under water-limited conditions. The results also show that MIZ1 overexpression can be used for improving plant productivity in arid areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-114
    Number of pages12
    JournalAnnals of botany
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul


    • Arabidopsis thaliana
    • drought avoidance
    • hydrotropism
    • root system

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Plant Science


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