Moderate water stress in rice induces rhizosheath formation associated with abscisic acid and auxin responses

Yingjiao Zhang, Huan Du, Yao Gui, Feiyun Xu, Jianping Liu, Jianhua ZHANG, Weifeng Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The rhizosheath is known to be beneficial for drought resistance in many plants, but the regulation of rhizosheath formation in rice plants is unclear. Here, we investigate rhizosheath formation in different rice varieties and root hair mutants. Our results showed that moderate water stress in rice induced rhizosheath formation. The soil porosity and water content were higher in the rice rhizosheath than in the rice bulk soil under moderate water stress. Additionally, rhizosheath formation in short root hair mutants was lower than in wild-type rice under moderate water stress. Moreover, transcriptomic results indicated that abscisic acid (ABA) and auxin were involved in root and root hair responses in rhizosheath formation. Further, blocking ABA and auxin pathways in wild type and in rhl1-1, the shortest root hair mutant, rhizosheath formation and root hair length were significantly decreased under moderate water stress. However, wild type plants maintained a higher root ABA content, root basipetal auxin transport, root hair length, and amount of rhizosheath than did rhl1-1. Our results suggest that moderate water stress in rice induces rhizosheath formation by modulating the ABA and auxin responses to regulate root and root hair growth, which may be used to breed rice varieties resistant to drought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2740-2751
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • ABA
  • Auxin
  • Moderate water stress
  • Rhizosheath formation
  • Root growth
  • Root hair


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