Growth and physiological traits associated with drought survival and post-drought recovery in perennial turfgrass species

Qi Chai, Fang Jin, Emily Merewitz, Bingru Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine physiological traits for drought survival and post-drought recovery upon re-watering in two C3 perennial grass species, kentucky bluegrass [KBG (Poa pratensis)] and perennial ryegrass [PRG (Lolium perenne)]. Plants were maintained well watered or exposed to drought stress by withholding irrigation and were then re-watered in a growth chamber. KBG had significantly higher grass quality and leaf photochemical efficiency, and lower electrolyte leakage than PRG during 20 days of drought. After 7 days of re- watering, drought-damaged leaves were rehydrated to the control level in KBG, but could not fully recover in PRG.KBG produced a greater number of new roots, while PRG had more rapid elongation of new roots after 16 days of re- watering. Superior drought tolerance in KBG was associated with osmotic adjustment, higher cell wall elasticity, and lower relative water content at zero turgor. Osmotic adjustment, cell wall elasticity, and cell membrane stability could play important roles in leaf desiccation tolerance and drought survival in perennial grass species. In addition, post- drought recovery of leaf hydration level and physiological activity could be associated with the accumulation of carbohydrates in leaves and rhizomes during drought stress and new root production after re-watering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Volume135
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Horticulture

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