Roots of Pisum sativum L. exhibit hydrotropism in response to a water potential gradient in vermiculite

Shogo Tsuda, Naoko Miyamoto, Hideyuki Takahashi, Kuni Ishihara, Tadashi Hirasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study, root hydrotropism in an agravitropic mutant of Pisum sativum L. grown in vermiculite with a steep water potential gradient was examined. When wet and dry vermiculite were placed side by side, water diffused from the wet (-0.04 MPa) to the dry (-1.2 MPa) and a steep water potential gradient became apparent in the dry vermiculite close to the boundary between the two. The extent and location of the gradient remained stable between the fourth and sixth day after filling a box with vermiculite, and the steepest gradient (approx. 0.02 MPa mm-1) was found in the initially dry vermiculite between 60 and 80 mm from the boundary. When seedlings with 25-35 mm long roots were planted in the initially dry vermiculite near where the gradient had been established, each of the main roots elongated toward the wet vermiculite, i.e. toward the high water potential. Control roots elongated without curvature in both the wet and the dry vermiculite, in which no water potential gradient was detectable. These results show that pea roots respond to the water potential gradient around them and elongate towards the higher water potential. Therefore, positive hydrotropism occurs in vermiculite just as it does in air. Hydrotropism in soil may be significant when a steep water potential gradient is apparent, such as when drip irrigation is applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-770
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of botany
Volume92
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hydrotropism
  • Pea
  • Pisum sativum L.
  • Root elongation
  • Vermiculite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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