Root hydraulics of drought-tolerant and susceptible rice varieties

Drought-tolerant and drought-susceptible rice (Oryza sativa) varieties have previously been shown to exhibit different trends in root hydraulic traits. Henry et al. carry out an investigation to measure root xylem sap bleeding rates and root hydraulic conductivity in order to understand how environmental factors affect the physiological features of these groupings.

Rice before it is husked.
Rice. Photo: Alex Valavanis/Flickr

The study shows that varietal differences in root hydraulic properties are partly explained by transpiration rates and levels of irradiance in the field, and also by the physiological traits governing osmotic potential, such as suberin content. By affecting water movement within the plant, such varietal differences in root hydraulic properties may provide important resources for further improving and understanding the drought responses of rice.

Root Biology Issue This paper is part of the Root Biology Special Issue.


The Annals of Botany Office is based at the University of Oxford.

1 comment

  • What are the criteria for the statement that the varieties are “drought resistant” and “drought susceptible”? Without clarity about this the information is of little use.

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