Trade-off between root efficiency and root size is associated with yield performance of soybean under different water and phosphorus levels

Jin He, Yi Jin, Kadambot H.M. Siddique, Feng Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

(1) Background: Root traits play important roles in acclimating to water and phosphorus (P) shortages. However, the relative importance of root size and efficiency under these conditions is unknown. (2) Methods: This study investigated the role of root size and efficiency in acclimating to water-and P-limited environments. Three soybean genotypes with contrasting root sizes were grown in tall cylindrical pots to compare grain yield, root density, and water-and nutrient-uptake efficiencies under two water (well-watered and water-stressed) and three P levels (0 (P0), 60 (P60), and 120 (P120) mg P kg−1 dry soil). (3) Results: Water or P deficit, and combined water and P deficit significantly decreased grain yield, which was associated with greater P uptake per unit root dry weight (DW) under water stress. The genotype Zhonghuang 30 (ZH) with the greatest water, nitrogen, and P uptakes per unit root DW had the highest grain yield at P60 and P120 under water stress and P0 under well-watered conditions, but ZH had the lowest grain yield at P60 and P120 under well-watered conditions, due to its small root size. (4) Conclusions: High root efficiency—which was correlated with high root density—improved grain yield under P-and water-limited conditions, but restricted yield potential when P and water were not limited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number481
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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