The rhizosheath, a layer of soil particles that adheres firmly to the root surface by a combination of root hairs and mucilage, may improve tolerance to drought stress. Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv. (foxtail millet), a member of the Poaceae family, is an important food and fodder crop in arid regions and forms a larger rhizosheath under drought conditions. Rhizosheath formation under drought conditions has been studied, but the regulation of root hair growth and rhizosheath size in response to soil moisture remains unclear. To address this question, in this study we monitored root hair growth and rhizosheath development in response to a gradual decline in soil moisture. Here, we determined that a soil moisture level of 10%–14% (w/w) stimulated greater rhizosheath production compared to other soil moisture levels. Root hair density and length also increased at this soil moisture level, which was validated by measurement of the expression of root hair-related genes. These findings contribute to our understanding of rhizosheath formation in response to soil water stress.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Plant Science