Categorization of the water status of rice inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizae and with water deficit
Keywords:drought, agricultural yield, Oryza sativa
Introduction. The water deficit negatively affects rice plants and limits their productivity. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis has been shown to improve rice productivity in drought conditions. Objective. To propose a new categorization for the state of water stress of rice plants inoculated (AM) or not with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (nonAM) and exposed to water deficit (D) during the vegetative phase. Materials and methods. The experiment was carried out under controlled greenhouse conditions during the years 2009 and 2010 at the Zaidín Experimental Station, Granada, Spain. The rice transplantation was carried out fourteen days after germination to pots with a 5 cm water sheet and at 30, 40, or 50 days after transplantation (DAT) they were subjected to water deficit during a period of 15 days, at which time the water sheet was restored. The control treatment was maintained throughout the cycle under flood conditions (ww). Evaluations were performed at 45, 55, 65 DAT and after recovery at 122 DAT. The harvest was carried out at 147 DAT. Results. The reduction in water supply demonstrated water stress in the plants, manifested by the decrease in the water potential of the leaves. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis always favored the water status of the plant. Four categories of water status of plants were proposed taking into account water potentials and agricultural yield: no stress (≥-0.67 MPa); light stress (<-0.67 to -1.20 MPa); moderate stress (<-1.20 to -1.60 MPa), and severe stress (<-1.60 MPa). Conclusion. The categorization of stress due to the water deficit is a tool of high scientific value for the specific case of rice, since this plant has the capacity to adapt to tolerate the presence of a sheet of water throughout its biological cycle and is highly susceptible to water deficit.
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