Article

Water stress drastically reduces root growth and inulin yield in Cichorium intybus (var. sativum) independently of photosynthesis.

Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie Végétale (GRPV), Earth and Life Institute - Agronomy (ELI-A), Université catholique de Louvain, 5 (Bte L 7.07.13) Place Croix du Sud, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
Journal of Experimental Botany (Impact Factor: 5.79). 05/2012; 63(12):4359-73. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers095
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) is a cash crop cultivated for inulin production in Western Europe. This plant can be exposed to severe water stress during the last 3 months of its 6-month growing period. The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of a progressive decline in water availability on plant growth, photosynthesis, and sugar metabolism and to determine its impact on inulin production. Water stress drastically decreased fresh and dry root weight, leaf number, total leaf area, and stomatal conductance. Stressed plants, however, increased their water-use efficiency and leaf soluble sugar concentration, decreased the shoot-to-root ratio and lowered their osmotic potential. Despite a decrease in photosynthetic pigments, the photosynthesis light phase remained unaffected under water stress. Water stress increased sucrose phosphate synthase activity in the leaves but not in the roots. Water stress inhibited sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase and fructan:fructan 1 fructosyltransferase after 19 weeks of culture and slightly increased fructan 1-exohydrolase activity. The root inulin concentration, expressed on a dry-weight basis, and the mean degree of polymerization of the inulin chain remained unaffected by water stress. Root chicory displayed resistance to water stress, but that resistance was obtained at the expense of growth, which in turn led to a significant decrease in inulin production.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
147 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nucleotidic polymorphisms were identified in fructan exohydrolases genes which are statistically associated with enhanced susceptibility to post-harvest inulin depolymerization. Industrial chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) root is the main commercial source of inulin, a linear fructose polymer used as dietary fiber. Post-harvest, inulin is depolymerized into fructose which drastically increases processing cost. To identify genetic variations associated with enhanced susceptibility to post-harvest inulin depolymerization and related free sugars content increase, we used a candidate-gene approach focused on inulin and sucrose synthesis and degradation genes, all members of the family 32 of glycoside hydrolases (GH32). Polymorphism in these genes was first investigated by carrying out EcoTILLING on two groups of chicory breeding lines exhibiting contrasted response to post-harvest inulin depolymerization. This allowed the identification of polymorphisms significantly associated with depolymerization in three fructan exohydrolase genes (FEH). This association was confirmed on a wider panel of 116 unrelated families in which the FEH polymorphism explained 35 % of the post-harvest variance for inulin content, 36 % of variance for sucrose content, 18 % for inulin degree of polymerization, 23 % for free fructose content and 22 % for free glucose content. These polymorphisms were associated with significant post-harvest changes of inulin content, inulin chain length and free sugars content.
    Theoretical and Applied Genetics 10/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An increase in mean and extreme summer temperatures is expected as a consequence of climate changes and this might have an impact on plant development in numerous species. Root chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) is a major crop in northern Europe, and it is cultivated as a source of inulin. This polysaccharide is stored in the tap root during the first growing season when the plant grows as a leafy rosette, whereas bolting and flowering occur in the second year after winter vernalisation. The impact of heat stress on plant phenology, water status, photosynthesis-related parameters, and inulin content was studied in the field and under controlled phytotron conditions. In the field, plants of the Crescendo cultivar were cultivated under a closed plastic-panelled greenhouse to investigate heat-stress conditions, while the control plants were shielded with a similar, but open, structure. In the phytotrons, the Crescendo and Fredonia cultivars were exposed to high temperatures (35 °C day/28 °C night) and compared to control conditions (17 °C) over 10 weeks. In the field, heat reduced the root weight, the inulin content of the root and its degree of polymerisation in non-bolting plants. Flowering was observed in 12% of the heat stressed plants during the first growing season in the field. In the phytotron, the heat stress increased the total number of leaves per plant, but reduced the mean leaf area. Photosynthesis efficiency was increased in these plants, whereas osmotic potential was decreased. High temperature was also found to induced flowering of up to 50% of these plants, especially for the Fredonia cultivar. In conclusion, high temperatures induced a reduction in the growth of root chicory, although photosynthesis is not affected. Flowering was also induced, which indicates that high temperatures can partly substitute for the vernalisation requirement for the flowering of root chicory.
    Journal of plant physiology 01/2014; 171(2):109–118. · 2.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Elevated CO2 concentrations and extreme climate events, are two increasing components of the ongoing global climatic change factors, may alter plant chemical composition and thereby their economic and ecological characteristics, e.g. nutritional quality and decomposition rates. To investigate the impact of climate extremes on tissue quality, four temperate grassland species: the fructan accumulating grasses Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, and the nitrogen (N) fixing legumes Medicago lupulina and Lotus corniculatus were subjected to water deficit at elevated temperature (+3°C), under ambient CO2 (392 ppm) and elevated CO2 (620 ppm). As a general observation, the effects of the climate extreme were larger and more ubiquitous in combination with elevated CO2. The imposed climate extreme increased non-structural carbohydrate and phenolics in all species, whereas it increased lignin in legumes and decreased tannins in grasses. However, there was no significant effect of climate extreme on structural carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and mineral contents and stoichiometric ratios. In combination with elevated CO2, climate extreme elicited larger increases in fructan and sucrose content in the grasses without affecting the total carbohydrate content, while it significantly increased total carbohydrates in legumes. The accumulation of carbohydrates in legumes was accompanied by higher activity of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase. In the legumes, elevated CO2 in combination with climate extreme reduced protein, phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg) contents and the total element:N ratio and it increased phenol, lignin, tannin, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) contents and C:N, C:P and N:P ratios. On the other hand, the tissue composition of the fructan accumulating grasses was not affected at this level, in line with recent views that fructans contribute to cellular homeostasis under stress. It is speculated that quality losses will be less prominent in grasses (fructan accumulators) than legumes under climate extreme and its combination with elevated CO2 conditions.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92044. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
95 Downloads
Available from
May 16, 2014