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Forskningsartikel2020Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Seasonal senescence of leaves and roots of Populus trichocarpa-is the scenario the same or different?

Wojciechowska, Natalia; Marzec-Schmidt, Katarzyna; Kalemba, Ewa M.; Ludwikow, Agnieszka; Bagniewska-Zadworna, Agnieszka


The remobilization and resorption of plant nutrients is considered as a crucial aspect of the seasonal senescence of plant organs. In leaves, the mechanisms responsible for the relocation of valuable compounds are well understood while the related processes in roots are still being debated. Some research indicates that remobilization in roots occurs, while other studies have not found evidence of this process. Considering that the total biomass of fine roots is equal to or greater than that of leaves, clarifying the conflicting reports and ambiguities may provide critical information on the circulation of chemical elements in forest ecosystems. This study provides new information concerning the basis for remobilization processes in roots by combining physiological data with gene expression and protein levels. We suggest that, as in leaves, molecular mechanisms involved in nitrogen (N) resorption are also activated in senescent roots. An analysis of N concentration indicated that N levels decreased during the senescence of both organs. The decrease was associated with an increase in the expression of a glutamine synthetase (GS) gene and a concomitant elevation in the amount of GS-one of the most important enzymes in N metabolism. In addition, significant accumulation of carbohydrates was observed in fine roots, which may represent an adaptation to unfavorable weather conditions that would allow remobilization to occur rather than a rapid death in response to ground frost or cold. Our results provide new insights into the senescence of plant organs and clarify contentious topics related to the remobilization process in fine roots.


carbohydrates; fine roots; glutamine synthetase; nitrogen; Populus trichocarpa; remobilization; seasonal variation

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Tree Physiology
2020, Volym: 40, nummer: 8, sidor: 987-1000

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