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Natural Sciences Education Abstract - Student Essays

Mesophytic Root Responses to O2


This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 42 No. 1, p. 28-32
    Received: Jan 8, 2013
    Published: March 20, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): PLynagh@Terpmail.umd.edu
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  1. Peter Lynagh *
  1. c/o R.R. Weil, Dep. of Environmental Science and Technology, Room 1109 H.J. Patterson Hall, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742


Hypoxic and anoxic stresses on mesophytes cause a waste of plant productivity. Many phenotypic responses of roots to hypoxia have long been known, and now genotypic and biochemical responses are being elucidated. Hypoxia causes activation of dozens of specific genes that help the plant to survive hypoxia. It is now clear that mesophytes actively respond to O2 or the lack thereof. The new understanding of O2 responses could allow scientists to modify mesophytic plants for various O2 concentrations. The most famous mesophytic root responses to hypoxia include decreased root growth, decreased root metabolism and the formation of aerenchyma. Additionally, mesophytes might increase adventitious roots, decrease their water uptake by decreasing aquaporin activity, and form partial barriers to radial oxygen loss (ROL). Soils that have low O2, such as waterlogged soils, tend to be relatively reduced. The redox status of the soil has implications for plant nutrition, which roots actively manage.

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Copyright © 2013. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society of Agronomy