Ameliorative effects of potassium on drought-induced decreases in fiber length of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) are associated with osmolyte dynamics during fiber development

Wenqing Zhao, Haoran Dong, Rizwan Zahoor, Zhiguo Zhou, John L. Snider, Yinglong Chen, Kadambot H.M. Siddique, Youhua Wang

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fiber length of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) decreases under drought stress, potassium (K) could diminish the decreased caused by drought, but the mechanism associated with this alleviation effect is not clear. We evaluated the effect of K on fiber elongation using two cotton cultivars, Simian 3 and Siza 3, grown in well-watered and drought-stressed conditions. Potassium fertilizer (K2O) was applied 0, 150, or 300 kg ha−1 in each growing condition. Drought stress reduced the final fiber length due to a decline in the maximum rate of rapid elongation (Vmax, mm day−1). The application of K alleviated the drought-induced fiber length reduction by increasing Vmax. At 10 and 15 days post-anthesis (DPA), drought significantly reduced osmotic potential (OP) and increased K+ and malate contents at all K rates, relative to well-watered conditions, which was associated with increased activities of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), V-ATPase, PPase, and PM H+-ATPase in cotton fiber. However, the relative contribution of K+ and malate to OP declined under drought in comparison with well-watered condition. Compared with control without K, K application decreased OP and increased the accumulation of osmolytes (K+, malate and soluble sugar) as well as the activities of related enzymes in fiber irrespective of water treatments. Moreover, K application increased osmotic adjustment during drought, and improved the contribution of K+ and malate to OP, especially under drought stress. This study showed that drought decreased fiber length by reducing Vmax, and K application ameliorates the decline in fiber elongation due to drought by enhancing osmolytes accumulation and their contribution to OP in fiber cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-634
JournalCrop Journal
Volume7
Issue number5
Early online date6 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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