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Acta Agron Sin ›› 2009, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (5): 875-883.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2009.00875


Drought Tolerance Enhanced by phosphorus Deficitiency in Potato Plants

WANG Xi-Yao1,ZHU Tao2,ZOU Xue1,WANG Ji-Sheng1,WANG Mi3   

  1. 1College of Agronomy;2College of Resource and Environment;3College of Biology and Science,Sichuan Agricultural University,Ya'an 625014,China
  • Received:2008-09-13 Revised:2008-02-14 Online:2009-05-12 Published:2009-03-23


Many morphological and physiological adaptations responding to drought or phosphorus (P) deficiency have been reported. But the researches on the relationship between P nutrition and drought tolerance are less, and the results are not consistent. The majority findings indicate that sufficient P nutrition can promote photosynthesis and growth of roots, increase bound water proportion and cell membrane stability and so on, thus enhance the adult plant drought tolerance. But it is found in our preliminary studies that potato grown in low-P environment showed a strong resistance to drought. This experiment aimed to verify and explain this phenomenon in physiological level. A total of 60 lines with 30-day-old Seedlings chosen from two segregating populations of distant-hybridization progenies were cultured in 1/2 MS mineral nutrient solution with two treatments of normal P and without P for 16 d respectively. Then, 8% PEG8000 was used to simulate drought stress for 3 h. Before and after drought stress, the concentrations of proline (Pro), soluble sugar, malonaldehyde (MDA) and the activities of peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured, respectively. P deficient treatment increased the number of new roots, but reduced the leaf area and stomatal density. Before drought stress, the Pro and soluble sugar concentrations, POD activity of P deficient plants were increased and reached about 2 times higher compared to P sufficient plants. After 3 h drought stress, plants in P deficient treatment did not wilted, and the soluble sugar, root Pro concentrations, POD and SOD activities were significantly or very significantly higher, but plants in P sufficient treatment showed severely wilting and the MDA, leaf Pro concentrations evidently increased. Therefore, we can conclude that the morphological and physiological changes adapting to P deficiency enhance the drought tolerance of potatoes.

Key words: Potato, Phosphorus deficiency stress, Morphological changes, Physiological changes, Drought tolerance

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