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Altered carbon delivery from roots: rapid, sustained inhibition of border cell dispersal in response to compost water extracts

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Abstract

Background and aims

In a previous study, a compost water extract (CWE) applied to pea seedlings resulted in >95 % protection against root infection. The protection was correlated with retention of a sheath of root border cells surrounding each root tip. A transient exposure to CWE was correlated with 80 % reduction in infection, and with retention of border cell sheaths. Early effects of CWE on border cell dispersal therefore were examined.

Materials and methods

Temporal and spatial dynamics of pea, maize, cotton, and cucumber border cell dispersal into water or CWE were measured.

Results

Border cells formed a mass surrounding root tips within seconds after exposure to water, and most cells dispersed into suspension spontaneously. In CWE, >90 % of the border cell population instead remained appressed to the root surface, even after vigorous agitation. In cotton, for example, >25,000 border cells dispersed within seconds of immersion in water, but <100 border cells dispersed after >24 h in CWE.

Conclusions

Border cells can contribute >90 % of carbon released from young roots, and a single border cell can trap hundreds of bacteria within minutes. The impact of altered border cell dispersal on soil properties, plant nutrition, and root disease development warrants further study.

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Abbreviations

CWE:

Compost water extract

ANOVA:

Analysis of variance

DI:

Deionized

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Acknowledgments

We thank the National Science Foundation and the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Science for support of studies defining border cell extracellular trapping phenomena, and we thank Chris Allen, North Central Instruments, for microscopy assistance.

Author information

Correspondence to Martha C. Hawes.

Additional information

Stacy Joy Tollefson and Gilberto Curlango-Rivera contributed equally to this study.

Responsible Editor: Tim S. George.

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Tollefson, S.J., Curlango-Rivera, G., Huskey, D.A. et al. Altered carbon delivery from roots: rapid, sustained inhibition of border cell dispersal in response to compost water extracts. Plant Soil 389, 145–156 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-014-2350-z

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Keywords

  • Root border cells
  • Rhizosphere microbiome
  • Carbon deposition
  • Belowground C
  • Root-derived C
  • Compost