Enhancement of porosity and aerenchyma formation in nitrogen-deficient rice roots

Tomomi Abiko, Mitsuhiro Obara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Root aerenchyma provides oxygen from plant shoots to roots. In upland crops, aerenchyma formation is induced mainly by oxygen or nutrient deficiency. Unlike upland crops, rice forms root aerenchyma constitutively and also inductively in response to oxygen deficiency. However, the effects of nitrogen deficiency on aerenchyma formation in rice remain unknown although nitrogen deficiency is common in most of the world's soils. We aimed to clarify the spatiotemporal patterns of aerenchyma formation induced in rice roots by nitrogen deficiency upon establishment of reliable growth conditions. Rice was grown hydroponically to evaluate porosity and aerenchyma formation induced by nitrogen and oxygen deficiency. Reliable growth conditions for nitrogen and oxygen deficiency were successfully established, because seedling root elongation was significantly promoted by nitrogen deficiency and inhibited by oxygen deficiency. Porosity was higher in whole roots grown under nitrogen and oxygen deficiency than in the controls. Root aerenchyma production was induced extensively by nitrogen deficiency but partially by oxygen deficiency. Thus the physiological roles of aerenchyma induced by nitrogen deficiency likely differ from those under oxygen deficiency. It indicates a possibility that inducible aerenchyma formation in nitrogen deficiency might promote adaptation to this deficiency by reducing respiration and remobilizing nitrogen, or both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Science
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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