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Acta Prataculturae Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 101-113.DOI: 10.11686/cyxb2021294

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Physiological effects of different Cd concentrations on maize root architecture and classification

Chang WEI1(), Qiu-juan JIAO1, Hai-tao LIU1(), Jing-jing ZHANG1, Feng-min SHEN1, Ying JIANG1(), Xue-hai ZHANG2, Luan-zi SUN3, Fang YANG4, Zhen LIU5   

  1. 1.College of Resources and Environment,Henan Agricultural University,Zhengzhou 450002,China
    2.College of Agronomy,Henan Agricultural University,Key Laboratory of Wheat and Maize Crops Science,Zhengzhou 450002,China
    3.College of Grassland Agriculture,Northwest A&F University,Xianyang 712100,China
    4.College of Resources and Environment,Jilin Agricultural University,Changchun 130118,China
    5.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Eco-Environmental Science for Yellow River Delta,Binzhou University,Binzhou 256603,China
  • Received:2021-07-27 Revised:2021-10-08 Online:2022-03-20 Published:2022-01-15
  • Contact: Hai-tao LIU,Ying JIANG


In this research, a hydroponics experiment was conducted to apply different concentrations of cadmium (Cd) (0, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 μmol·L-1) to maize seedlings with two leaves and one new leaf, in order to explore the effects of the different Cd concentrations on the maize seedling growth, Cd absorption kinetics and root morphology and classification. After 5 days of Cd stress, the maize seedings were sampled, the plant height, main root length, aboveground and underground biomass, root architecture, Cd content and photosynthesis and related parameters were measured. It was found that with increasing Cd stress, the plant height, main root length, biomass and tolerance index of shoots and roots, total root length, root surface area, root volume, root forks and root tips all decreased significantly; Root average diameter and root∶shoot increased significantly (P<0.05). Meanwhile root parameters (root length, root surface area and root volume) of root diameter classes designated Ⅰ-Ⅲ (0-1.5 mm) showed a decreasing trend, which had a significant (P<0.05) negative correlation with root Cd concentration. The proportion of root length, root surface area and root volume with diameter between 0-0.5 mm showed a downward trend under Cd stress. Under Cd stress, Cd concentration and accumulation in underground and aboveground parts of maize seedlings increased significantly, chlorophyll content decreased, and photosynthesis was inhibited. This study has shown that Cd affected root development mainly by inhibiting the growth and morphology of fine roots, and inhibited photosynthesis, elongation and biomass accumulation of the aboveground and underground parts of the maize seedings.

Key words: maize, Cd exposure, root architecture, root classification