Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (5): 547-554.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.05.008

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Physio-ecological properties of continuous cropping Rehmannia glutinosa

ZHANG Zhong-Yi1,2*; YIN Wen-Jia1; LI Juan1; DU Jia-Fang1; Yang Yan-Hui1; CHEN Xin-Jian1; and LIN Wen-Xiong2**   

  1. 1Institute of Chinese Medicinal Materials, Henan Agriculture University, Zhengzhou 450002, China;
    2Institute of Agriculture Ecology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
  • Received:2009-04-27 Online:2010-05-01 Published:2010-05-01
  • Contact: LIN Wen-Xiong

Abstract: Aims The Chinese medicinal plant Rehmannia glutinosa has a significant continuous cropping obstacle effect. Our objective was to determine its physio-ecological properties under continuous cropping.
Methods We determined changes in the physio-ecological properties of R. glutinosa under continuous cropping, with the first cropping plants used as the control.
Important findings The continuous cropping obstacle effect on R. glutinosa occurred at the seedling stage. The plasamembrane lipid peroxidation of the plants led to impaired structure and function of plant cells in the 60 days after being planted under continuous cropping. Also, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) and chlorophyll content (Chl) of the plants under continuous cropping were significantly lower than those of the control, but the reverse was true for limited stomatal value (Ls). Pn was significantly correlated with Gs and Chl (r = 0.977 and 0.814, respectively). Electron microscopy revealed that changes in mesophyll cell ultrastructure, including chloroplast structure, began at the mid-growth stage under continuous cropping. Therefore, it was suggested that the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals in plant cells, caused by the stressful condition of continuous cropping, resulted in damaged membrane structure, which in turn led to decreased chlorophyll content, closed stomata and reduced photosynthetic capacity and consequently retarded growth of the plants at the seedling stage, i.e., the so-called continuous cropping obstacle effect.