Growth and metabolic activity of underground shoots of a long-rhizome perennial herbaceous species yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) were studied. The active growth of rhizomes and the formation of new meristematic zones were observed during the second half of the growing season after termination of aboveground shoot growth. In this period, underground shoots had a rather high rate of respiration (1.3 mg CO2/(g dry wt h)), a considerable content of nonstructural carbohydrates (15% of dry weight), and the elevated activities of IAA, cytokinins, and ABA. In autumn, the rate of respiration of underground shoots decreased to 1.0 mg CO2/(g dry wt h), soluble sugars accumulated, the ratio between unsaturated and saturated fatty acids rose as well as the ratios GA/ABA and cytokinins/ABA. Temperature optimum for the rhizome growth lay in the range of low and moderate above-zero temperatures (5–20°C), and the freezing point of water in the apices of under-ground shoots was about −10°C. It is concluded that rhizome quiescence predominantly depends on low temperatures and is not associated with the accumulation of growth inhibitors. In the course of plant preparation to winter, morphogenetic transformations in underground shoots depend on changes in the hormonal balance directed in favor of growth hormones and relatively high respiratory activity in the apical zones of the rhizomes.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2013
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