Differences in grapevine rootstock sensitivity and recovery from drought are linked to fine root cortical lacunae and root tip function

ITALO FABRIZZIO CUNEO ARRATIA, Felipe Barrios-Masias, Thorsten Knipfer, Jake Uretsky, Clarissa Reyes, Pierre Lenain, Craig R. Brodersen, M. Andrew Walker, Andrew J. McElrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Structural changes during severe drought stress greatly modify the hydraulic properties of fine roots. Yet, the physiological basis behind the restoration of fine root water uptake capacity during water recovery remains unknown. Using neutron radiography (NR), X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), fluorescence microscopy, and fine root hydraulic conductivity measurements (Lpr), we examined how drought-induced changes in anatomy and hydraulic properties of contrasting grapevine rootstocks are coupled with fine root growth dynamics during drought and return of soil moisture. Lacunae formation in drought-stressed fine roots was associated with a significant decrease in fine root Lpr for both rootstocks. However, lacunae formation occurred under milder stress in the drought-resistant rootstock, 110R. Suberin was deposited at an earlier developmental stage in fine roots of 101-14Mgt (i.e. drought susceptible), probably limiting cortical lacunae formation during mild stress. During recovery, we found that only 110R fine roots showed rapid re-establishment of elongation and water uptake capacity and we found that soil water status surrounding root tips differed between rootstocks as imaged with NR. These data suggest that drought resistance in grapevine rootstocks is associated with rapid re-establishment of growth and Lpr near the root tip upon re-watering by limiting competing sites along the root cylinder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-283
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cortical lacunae
  • drought stress
  • Lp
  • recovery
  • root growth
  • suberin deposition


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