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Abstract Detail

Developmental and Structural Section

Caudle, Keri L. [1], Smart, Cera [1], Hilt, Christina [1], Maricle, Brian [2].

The role of root aerenchyma in oil tolerance of wetland plants.

Accidental oil spills commonly affect wetland plants. Previous research has indicated some physiological effects of oil and flooding are similar, as both induce anoxic conditions in the soil. Indeed, plant physiological tolerance to oil exposure has been linked to flooding tolerance. When exposed to oil in soil, sensitive species increased activity of enzymes associated with anoxia stress. It was hypothesized tolerance of wetland plants to oil was due to enhanced development of aerenchyma, which could aerate submerged tissues and support aerobic respiration during anoxic conditions resulting from oil exposure. In this study, four wetland grasses, Phalaris arundinacea, Phragmites australis, Spartina alterniflora, and Spartina pectinata, were subjected to 6 L m-2 motor oil in greenhouse experiments for six weeks and root aerenchyma was assessed by microscopy. The most oil-tolerant species Phragmites australis and Spartina alterniflora had extensive root aerenchyma, which could ventilate oil-coated roots and support aerobic respiration.  Moderate oil tolerance was observed in Spartina pectinata, which was supported by root aerenchyma development, but with minor damage in structure under oil saturated conditions. The most sensitive species to oil, Phalaris arundinacea, had significantly less aerenchyma in roots and extensive root damage from oil exposure. Complete degradation of the root cortex was observed in Phalaris arundinacea and, therefore, a significant reduction in aerenchyma. These data help explain physiological differences among species exposed to spilled oil. Physiological tolerance to anoxic soil conditions imposed by spilled oil can come from an ability to supply oxygen internally to submerged tissues.

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1 - Fort Hays State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Park St., Hays, KS, 67601, USA
2 - Fort Hays State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 600 Park St., Hays, KS, 67601-4099, USA

crude oil
wetland species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 26
Location: Pines North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 26002
Abstract ID:186
Candidate for Awards:Katherine Esau Award,Maynard F. Moseley Award

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