Root distribution in soil and sensitivity to water stress of upland rice in the tropics.



Response of upland rice to water stress in terms of root growth and water uptake from soil layers was characterized. Water uptake is more sensitive to soil drying as compared with nitrogen uptake, which signifies that water uptake is a major limiting factor for the plant growth under stressed conditions. Low water uptake under severe stress in rice can be attributed to shallower root distribution and poorer water capture from deep soil layer, deeper than 40 cm depth as compared with maize. Maize increased root growth in deep soil layers in responding to severe stress. In contrast, rice showed few stimulated root growth and limited water extraction rate per unit length of root under sever stress. Field investigation in acidic soils indicated that phosphorus application led to the formation of deeper root system. Amendment of phosphorus is considered to improve water capture from deep layers to sustain plant growth under stress in acidic soils with low available phosphorus.


Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences Biological Resources Division

International Rice Research Institute


Technical A

Term of research


Responsible researcher

KONDO Motohiko ( Biological Resources Division )

MURTY Maddala V. R. ( International Rice Research Institute )

Japanese PDF

1999_05_A3_ja.pdf653.83 KB

Related Research Highlights