Effects of drought stress and rewatering on growth and physiological characteristics of invasive Aegilops tauschii seedlings.
A weighting method was used to control soil water content to produce a soil water stress gradient. The effects of drought and rewatering on the changes of the morphological and physiological parameters of potted Aegilops tauschii seedlings were measured on the 28th day after imposition of watering treatments and the 7th day following rewatering. The relative water content, relative conductivity, malondialdehyde and proline content increased with increasing drought. Chlorophyll initially increased and then decreased during drought stress. Superoxide dismutase activity (SOD) increased in light drought and moderate drought stress, but initially increased and then decreased during strong drought. Leaf mass ratio and specific leaf area declined with drought stress, but root mass ratio and root: shoot ratio increased with increasing stress. After rewatering, most indexes of physiological status such as relative water content and proline content recovered to the level of the control treatment (no water stress). These preliminarily results indicate that A. tauschii is well adapted to a high degrees of drought stress because of its ability to physiological metabolism.