iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Relationship between volatile organic compounds released and growth of Cunninghamia lanceolata roots under low-phosphorus conditions

Huayan Lai, Kai Wu, Nemin Wang, Wenjing Wu, Xianhua Zou, Xiangqing Ma, Pengfei Wu   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 6, Pages 713-720 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2797-011
Published: Nov 06, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

To understand whether Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) can conserve energy by reducing root volatiles to maintain growth under low phosphorus (P) conditions, we cultivated two half-sib families of Chinese fir that display high and low P use efficiency under conditions of normal P supply and total P deficiency. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis was used to determine the content of root volatiles, and the relationships among root volatiles and root growth index, P content, and distribution were analyzed. There were significantly fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the rhizosphere of these two fir families, No. 25 and No. 32, under P deficiency. Low P supply significantly promoted root growth in No. 25, increasing both average diameter and volume. A negative correlation was found between the volatiles and the increment of root average diameter and surface area. The belowground P distribution and the root to shoot P concentration (Pr/Ps) were higher in No. 25 than in No. 32. The total amount of VOCs, as well as the amount of 18 individual volatiles were positively correlated with P accumulation, aboveground P distribution, and belowground P distribution, but the opposite pattern was seen in Pr/Ps for family No. 25 seedlings. We conclude that the content and types of VOCs differ among the Chinese fir genotypes. Under low-P stress, the roots of Chinese fir reduce the release of VOCs to maintain seedling growth.


Cunninghamia lanceolata, Low-phosphorus Stress, Root Growth, Root Volatile Organic Compounds, Energy Balance

Authors’ address

Huayan Lai
Kai Wu
Nemin Wang
Wenjing Wu
Xianhua Zou
Xiangqing Ma
Pengfei Wu
College of Forestry, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002 (China)

Corresponding author

Pengfei Wu


Lai H, Wu K, Wang N, Wu W, Zou X, Ma X, Wu P (2018). Relationship between volatile organic compounds released and growth of Cunninghamia lanceolata roots under low-phosphorus conditions. iForest 11: 713-720. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2797-011

Academic Editor

Claudia Cocozza

Paper history

Received: Mar 21, 2018
Accepted: Aug 21, 2018

First online: Nov 06, 2018
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2018
Publication Time: 2.57 months

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