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Phenotyping and modeling of root hydraulic architecture reveal critical determinants of axial water transport

Abstract : Water uptake by roots is a key adaptation of plants to aerial life. Water uptake depends on root system architecture (RSA) and tissue hydraulic properties that, together, shape the root hydraulic architecture. This work investigates how the interplay between conductivities along radial (e.g. aquaporins) and axial (e.g. xylem vessels) pathways determines the water transport properties of highly branched RSAs as found in adult Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants. A hydraulic model named HydroRoot was developed, based on multi-scale tree graph representations of RSAs. Root water flow was measured by the pressure chamber technique after successive cuts of a same root system from the tip toward the base. HydroRoot model inversion in corresponding RSAs allowed us to concomitantly determine radial and axial conductivities, providing evidence that the latter is often overestimated by classical evaluation based on the Hagen–Poiseuille law. Organizing principles of Arabidopsis primary and lateral root growth and branching were determined and used to apply the HydroRoot model to an extended set of simulated RSAs. Sensitivity analyses revealed that water transport can be co-limited by radial and axial conductances throughout the whole RSA. The number of roots that can be sectioned (intercepted) at a given distance from the base was defined as an accessible and informative indicator of RSA. The overall set of experimental and theoretical procedures was applied to plants mutated in ESKIMO1 and previously shown to have xylem collapse. This approach will be instrumental to dissect the root water transport phenotype of plants with intricate alterations in root growth or transport functions.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 3:54:10 PM
Last modification on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 3:05:19 PM


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Yann Boursiac, Christophe Pradal, Fabrice Bauget, Mikaël Lucas, Stathis Delivorias, et al.. Phenotyping and modeling of root hydraulic architecture reveal critical determinants of axial water transport. Plant Physiology, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2022, ⟨10.1093/plphys/kiac281⟩. ⟨hal-03701955⟩



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