Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2019, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (5): 652-661.DOI: 10.11983/CBB19089

• SPECIAL TOPICS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Studies in the Responses of Wheat Root Traits to Drought Stress

Qingxia Miao1,2,3,Yan Fang1,2,*(),Yinglong Chen1,2,4,*()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China;
    2. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
    3. College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China;
    4. School of Agriculture and Environment, The UWA Institute of Agriculture, the University of Western Australia, Perth 6009, Australia
  • Received:2019-05-14 Accepted:2019-07-26 Online:2019-09-01 Published:2020-03-10
  • Contact: Yan Fang,Yinglong Chen


Drought stress induces the response of wheat roots, which simultaneously send signals to the aboveground parts stimulating physiological reactions in the aboveground parts, and thus improving drought tolerance of plants. Root architecture traits include morphological traits and three-dimensional geometric structures (i.e, topological structures). The root system architecture not only has genetic stability, but also shows plasticity. The root physiological and biochemical responses to drought stress primarily involve in induced production and changes of root-sourced chemical signals, root cell enzymes, and root osmosis. Under drought stress, plants also alter root anatomical traits and water-uptake kinetics. In this paper, current advances in the studies on root responses to drought stress of wheat (Triticum aestivum) were reviewed with a focus on root system architecture traits, root physiological properties and root anatomical characteristics. The relationship between wheat root properties and drought stress, and the current research constrains were discussed. This review would provide a guidance for future studies on wheat root traits in response to drought stress.

Key words: wheat, root architecture traits, root physiological-biochemical traits, root anatomical traits