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Acta Agron Sin ›› 2009, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (6): 1078-1085.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2009.01078


Effects of Nitrogen on Cotton(Gossypium hirsutum L.) Root Growth under Short-Term Waterlogging during Flowering and Boll-Forming Stage

GUO Wen-Qi,ZHAO Xin-Hua,CHEN Bing-Lin,LIU Rui-Xian,ZHOU Zhi-Guo*   

  1. Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology in Southern China,Ministry of Agriculture/Nanjing Agricultural University,Nanjing 210095,China
  • Received:2008-10-14 Revised:2009-03-17 Online:2009-06-12 Published:2009-04-16
  • Contact: ZHOU Zhi-Guo,E-mail:giscott@njau.edu.cn;Tel:025-84396813;Fax:025-84396813


The flowering and boll development stage is the key period for cotton quality and yield. Waterlogging during this period significantly inhibits cotton development and reduces final yield. Nitrogen fertilizer is considered to be an effective up-regulatory element for crop growth. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate effects of nitrogen on cotton resistance to soil waterlogging in terms of the changes of root dry matter accumulation, antioxidant enzyme activities and root vigor under short-term waterlogging. A pot experiment wasconducted with three N levels (0, 3.73, and 7.46 g N pot-1 equivalent to 0, 240, and 480 kg N ha-1, respectively), waterlogging for eight days and then recovering for fifteen days. The results showed that the root dry matter weight and the Root/Shoot ratio of plants by waterlogged decreased, and the root dry matter weight reached a peak at the 240 kg N ha-1 under waterlogging, but the root/shoot ratio decreased with the increase of N application. Under waterlogging, soluble protein content significantly decreased in comparison with well-watered cotton, and the reduced degree increased with increasing N application. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content in cotton roots was significantly (P <0.05) increased, with the lowest at the 240 kg N ha-1 during waterlogging. Application of N increased the activities of peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) of cotton roots, but decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity during waterlogging. Both root vigor and CAP decreased by waterlogging, were the highest at the 240 kg N ha-1. At the 15 d after terminating waterlogging, N application promoted root vigor and CAP, but decreased MDA content. These results suggest that appropriate N supply (240 kg N ha-1 in this investigation) may contribute to waterlogging resistance of cotton plants through adjusting the antioxidant enzyme activities of roots, decreasing lipid peroxidation and enhancing root vigor during waterlogging (waterlogging for eight days in this investigation), excessive N supply (480 kg N ha-1) has a deleterious effect on plant waterlogging resistance, however, more N should be supplied to waterlogged cotton pants after terminating waterlogging.

Key words: Cotton, Flowering and boll-forming stage, Soil waterlogging, Nitrogen, Root growth

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