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Aerenchyma formation in adventitious roots of tall fescue and cocksfoot under waterlogged conditions

Mui, NT, Zhou, M ORCID: 0000-0003-3009-7854, Parsons, D ORCID: 0000-0002-1393-8431 and Smith, RW ORCID: 0000-0002-2987-724X 2021 , 'Aerenchyma formation in adventitious roots of tall fescue and cocksfoot under waterlogged conditions' , Agronomy, vol. 11, no. 12 , pp. 1-12 , doi:

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The formation of aerenchyma in adventitious roots is one of the most crucial adaptive traits for waterlogging tolerance in plants. Pasture grasses, like other crops, can be affected by waterlogging, and there is scope to improve tolerance through breeding. In this study, two summer-active cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.) cultivars, Lazuly and Porto, and two summer-active tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum Schreb., syn. Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cultivars, Hummer and Quantum II MaxP, were selected to investigate the effects of waterlogging on root growth and morphological change. Cultivars were subjected to four periods of waterlogging treatments (7, 14, 21 and 28 days), while comparable plants were kept under free drained control conditions. The experiment was arranged as a split–split plot design, with waterlogging treatments (waterlogged, control) considered as main plots, time periods (days of waterlogging) as subplots and cultivars as sub-subplots. Plants began to show signs of waterlogging stress 14–21 days after the onset of waterlogging treatments. There were no significant differences in shoot biomass between the waterlogged and control plants of any cultivar. However, waterlogging significantly reduced root dry matter in all cultivars, with greater reduction in cocksfoot (56%) than in tall fescue (38%). Waterlogging also led to increased adventitious root and aerenchyma formation in both species. Cocksfoot cultivars showed a greater increase in adventitious roots, while tall fescue cultivars had a greater proportion of aerenchyma. Both cultivars within each species showed similar responses to waterlogging treatments. However, an extended screening program is needed to identify whether there are varietal differences within species, which could be used to discover genes related to aerenchyma or adventitious root formation (waterlogging tolerance) for use in breeding programs.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mui, NT and Zhou, M and Parsons, D and Smith, RW
Keywords: aerenchyma formation, waterlogging tolerance, tall fescue, cocksfoot, grasses
Journal or Publication Title: Agronomy
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2073-4395
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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