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Selection for root morphological traits improves the growth of grafted bell pepper

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Mohn Nor, N.H., Fujinuma, R., Menzies, N.W., Harper, S. and McGrath, D. (2016) Selection for root morphological traits improves the growth of grafted bell pepper. Acta Horticulturae, 1127 .

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1127.33

Publisher URL: http://www.actahort.org/books/1127/1127_33.htm


Plant breeding programs seldom explicitly consider root traits in selecting high-performance lines. With increased emphasis on resource use efficiency in horticulture, there is a need to identify root traits that are linked to nutrient capture. Grafting could provide a basis for identifying beneficial root traits to be included in breeding programs. Research was conducted to investigate the relationship between root traits and biomass of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) using a standard commercial cultivar ('Warlock') as a scion over 11 rootstocks of wild pepper (Capsicum chinense), while self-grafted 'Warlock' was used as a control. After 5 weeks of growth in rhizoboxes, the plants were harvested to determine the biomass and root traits (total length, surface area, volume and average diameter). Effect of rootstocks resulted in above-ground biomass differences of -12 to +65% relative to the control, indicating that some rootstocks of the wild accessions were able to exploit more soil resources for a greater above-ground growth. Analysis of root images indicated that eight accessions produced significantly larger root surface area and volume, with a larger biomass allocation to shoots compared with the control. Shoot biomass was significantly correlated with root length (r2=0.484), root surface area (r2=0.424) and root volume (r2=0.355). These correlations showed that some rootstocks are capable of producing larger above-ground biomass with a relatively smaller photosynthate investment in root growth. These results indicate that the selection of wild accessions as rootstock has the potential to improve the root system of bell pepper for a greater above-ground biomass.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:resource use efficiency, rootstock, grafting, root traits, above-ground biomass
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Vegetables
Live Archive:19 Jan 2017 05:20
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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