Plant and Soil

, Volume 255, Issue 1, pp 9–17 | Cite as

Morphological and physiological characteristics of a root-hairless mutant in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

  • Nobuhiro SuzukiEmail author
  • Shin Taketa
  • Masahiko Ichii


This paper reports morphological and physiological characteristics of a first root-hairless mutant (RH2) of rice (Oryza sativa L.), which can be useful in advancing knowledge on the role of root hairs in water and nutrient uptake, and genetics of root hairs. The mutant was selected among NaN3 mutagenized progeny of the rice cultivar Oochikara. Microscopic observations showed absence of root hairs in RH2. At the seedling stage, RH2 showed shorter seedling height and shorter roots compared to the wild type variety Oochikara. Because of the differences in seedling growth, all comparisons between Oochikara and RH2 in uptake-related characters were made on the basis of values adjusted by the dry weight of either the shoot or the root. When grown at low water potential in soil, Oochikara and RH2 were similar in shoot water content and transpiration per unit shoot dry weight, and similarly, at low water potential in solution culture, there was no significant difference between Oochikara and RH2 in transpiration per unit shoot dry weight. These results suggest that at the seedling stage, root hairs do not significantly contribute to uptake of water. In solution culture, Oochikara and RH2 did not significantly differ in phosphate uptake per unit root dry weight. This result supports the previous work that root hairs do not contribute to phosphate uptake in solution culture. Regarding to response to plant hormones, RH2 showed a higher level of resistance to two synthetic auxins, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) than Oochikara. NAA treatment induced very short root hairs in RH2, suggesting that the absence of root hairs in RH2 may be due to a shortage of endogenous auxin. Genetic analysis showed that the root hairless character in RH2 is inherited as a single recessive gene.

mutant phosphate uptake rice root hairs water stress 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureKagawa UniversityMiki, KagawaJapan

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