Characterization of lateral root development at the onset of storage root initiation in 'Beauregard' sweetpotato adventitious roots

Arthur Villordon, Don LaBonte, Julio Solis, Nurit Firon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study characterized lateral root (LR) development attributes during the onset of storage root (SR) initiation stage in 'Beauregard' sweetpotato. SR initiation has been defined as the appearance of cambia around the protoxylem and secondary xylem elements. Our results showed that 20-day-old adventitious roots (ARs) classified as SRs had 53% and 85% greater mean LR count than pencil roots (PRs) and lignified roots (LGs), respectively. SRs had 53% and 78% greater mean LR density relative to PRs and LGs, respectively. SRs had 66% and 130% greater mean total LR length than PRs and LGs, respectively. SRs had lower mean main root (MR)/LR length ratio compared with PRs (-38%) and LGs (-60%). SRs had 70% and 134% greater mean surface area than PRs and LGs, respectively. SRs had lower mean MR/LR surface area ratio compared with PRs (-42%) and LGs (-62%). The plot of the first and second principal components revealed the presence of a gradient between extreme LG and SR clusters, suggesting a developmental transition between LGs and SRs with PRs representing an intermediate developmental stage. Although AR architecture is not the sole determinant of SR formation, our data help provide a basis for integrating AR architecture attributes with other factors that are known to influence SR initiation. Growth substrate moisture variability influenced LR development during the critical SR initiation period. Relative to the control treatments, water deprivation 10 to 20 days after transplanting (DAT) reduced mean LR count, length, and surface area by 49%, 103%, and 94%, respectively. Saturated conditions 10 to 20 DAT reduced mean LR count, length, and surface area by 75%, 81%, and 77%, respectively. These results represent the first evidence for the association between anatomical cues of SR initiation and root architecture and provide corroborating data that soil moisture variability 10 to 20 DAT directly influences SR yield potential through AR architecture modifications that are associated with diminished SR formation. This information can be used to further optimize SR yield by identifying agroclimatic and management variables that are associated with desirable LR development during the critical SR initiation stage.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalHortScience
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

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