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Seasonal senescence of leaves and roots of Populus trichocarpa —is the scenario the same or different?

Authors
  • Wojciechowska, Natalia1
  • Marzec-Schmidt, Katarzyna1
  • Kalemba, Ewa M2
  • Ludwików, Agnieszka3
  • Bagniewska-Zadworna, Agnieszka1
  • 1 Department of General Botany, Poland , (Poland)
  • 2 Institute of Dendrology, Poland , (Poland)
  • 3 Department of Biotechnology, Poland , (Poland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Tree Physiology
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Feb 22, 2020
Volume
40
Issue
8
Pages
987–1000
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpaa019
PMID: 32091108
PMCID: PMC7392034
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The remobilization and resorption of plant nutrients is considered as a crucial aspect of the seasonal senescence of plant organs. In leaves, the mechanisms responsible for the relocation of valuable compounds are well understood while the related processes in roots are still being debated. Some research indicates that remobilization in roots occurs, while other studies have not found evidence of this process. Considering that the total biomass of fine roots is equal to or greater than that of leaves, clarifying the conflicting reports and ambiguities may provide critical information on the circulation of chemical elements in forest ecosystems. This study provides new information concerning the basis for remobilization processes in roots by combining physiological data with gene expression and protein levels. We suggest that, as in leaves, molecular mechanisms involved in nitrogen (N) resorption are also activated in senescent roots. An analysis of N concentration indicated that N levels decreased during the senescence of both organs. The decrease was associated with an increase in the expression of a glutamine synthetase (GS) gene and a concomitant elevation in the amount of GS —one of the most important enzymes in N metabolism. In addition, significant accumulation of carbohydrates was observed in fine roots, which may represent an adaptation to unfavorable weather conditions that would allow remobilization to occur rather than a rapid death in response to ground frost or cold. Our results provide new insights into the senescence of plant organs and clarify contentious topics related to the remobilization process in fine roots

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