Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drought-related shrinking processes detected in living roots in the soil for the first time

Date:
December 3, 2009
Source:
Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ
Summary:
Plant roots can shrink as a result of water deficit and lose contact with the surrounding soil. This effect has been suspected for a long time, but has only now been demonstrated for a fact with the help of x-ray tomography. The formation of an air gap could initially help plants prevent impending water losses when the soil dries out, say scientists.

Roots of the White Lupin in a model. With the help of x-ray tomograhy, UFZ researchers demonstrated a drought-related shrinkage of plant roots and as a result the formation of an air gap between the roots and the surrounding soil.
Credit: Dr. Ulrich Weller/UFZ

Plant roots can shrink as a result of water deficit and lose contact with the surrounding soil. This effect has been suspected for a long time, but has only now been demonstrated for a fact with the help of x-ray tomography. The formation of an air gap could initially help plants prevent impending water losses when the soil dries out, say scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) writing in the Vadose Zone Journal.

Related Articles


For their study, the researchers investigated roots of the white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) in sandy soil for a month, examining changes to the soil-root interface as the soil dried out and was irrigated, using x-ray tomography. Their research uncovered air gaps that formed as a result of root shrinkage during dry periods. "These interactions between soil structure and biological activity make the soil-root interface a complex and dynamic biomaterial whose importance has just begun to be understood," explains Andrea Carminati of the UFZ.

After irrigation, the roots in the experiment swelled, partially refilling the air gaps, but contact in the older part of the taproot was not fully re-established. Does this mean that severe drought can permanently impair the contact between roots and the soil, thereby reducing a plant's uptake of water and nutrients? Or can the plants re-establish the contact? These questions are of great significance for agriculture, in view of climate change and the drier summers that are expected in the north-east of Germany. This is why the soil researchers at the UFZ intend to continue with their x-ray investigations of plant root interactions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carminati et al. When Roots Lose Contact. Vadose Zone Journal, 2009; 8 (3): 805 DOI: 10.2136/vzj2008.0147

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. "Drought-related shrinking processes detected in living roots in the soil for the first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127124527.htm>.
Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. (2009, December 3). Drought-related shrinking processes detected in living roots in the soil for the first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127124527.htm
Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. "Drought-related shrinking processes detected in living roots in the soil for the first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127124527.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins