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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #430503

Research Project: Evaluating Fine Root Response to Drought

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Project Number: 2032-21220-008-09-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 15, 2018
End Date: Apr 15, 2020

1) Determine how cortical lacuna, suberization, hormones, aquaporin activity, and other molecular physiology interact to drive differences in drought resistance across grapevine rootstocks. 2) Utilize newly discovered traits to screen rootstocks, germplasm, and hybrid populations to determine what material best resists and recovers from drought stress. 3) Determine how irrigation management can be used to alter these traits to maintain the capacity of grapevine root systems to deliver water to canopy during drought.

1) Plants will be grown in a variety of containers to accomodate both in-vivo investigations and promote growth of more extensive root systems. Plants will be maintained in a well-watered condition upon establishment, and controls will be maintained as such throughout the experiment. Water stress will be induced over several weeks to simulate a slow dry down while monitoring stem and root water potentials using a Scholander-type pressure chamber. After drying down the soil, plants will be rewatered to evaluate recovery from drought in terms of regrowth kinetics and hydraulics to evaluate uptake potential of various portions of the root system. 2) Utilize siblings from a University of California, Davis, collaborator's hybrid population to determine heritability of traits for drought tolerance 3) Root growth dynamics, root system architecture, and soil water depletion in specific portions of the root zone will be investigated using Neutron radiography (NR), a backlighting chamber technique, and new wooden chambers. Imaged regions of the root-soil interface will be tracked, and used for analysis of functional and molecular (flash frozen) root traits.