Rathnayake, A.P., Kadono, H., Toyooka, S. et al. J For Res (2007) 12: 393. doi:10.1007/s10310-007-0040-x
This study presents the effects of short-term ozone exposure on the nano-scale growth behavior of the fine roots of Pinus densiflora (Japanese red pine) seedlings. Root elongation measurements were obtained in nanometers for very short (sub-second) time intervals by using the optical interference method called statistical interferometry, developed by the authors. Three categories of P. densiflora seedlings were investigated; two categories were infected with ectomycorrhiza of Pisolithus sp. (Ps) and Cenococcum geophilum (Cg), while the third was without any fungal infection. In experiments, two points on a root with a separation of 3 mm were illuminated by laser beams and the elongation was measured continuously by analyzing speckle patterns successively taken by a CCD camera. The ectomycorrhizal fungi-infected and uninfected seedlings were exposed to ozone at concentrations of 120 and 240 ppb for periods of 1, 3, or 5 h in separate treatments. The root elongations of P. densiflora seedlings were measured before and immediately after the each ozone treatment and then the root elongation rates (RER) were determined for growth-measurement periods of 5.5 s and 9.5 min. From the measurements obtained for 9.5 min, we found that the RERs of uninfected and Cg-infected seedlings were reduced by 42 and 18%, respectively, after 5 h of exposure to 120 ppb ozone compared with that before exposure, while the reduction in RER of Ps-infected seedlings was not significant. When the concentration of ozone was increased to 240 ppb, the RERs of Ps-infected and Cg-infected seedlings were reduced by 32 and 44%, respectively, after exposure for 5 h, while the reduction in RER of uninfected seedlings was 59%. These observations prove that the non-mycorrhizal seedling roots are more sensitive to ozone stress. From this study, we found that the RERs of both mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal seedlings apparently fluctuated throughout the measurements, even within a few minutes.