Evaluating Anatomical Characteristics Associated With Leaf Rolling in Northeastern Thai Rice Cultivars During Drought by Decision Tree

Wuttichai Gunnula, Nantawan Kanawapee, Prakit Somta, Piyaporn Phansak


Leaf rolling is a common response to drought among members of the grass family. A detailed understanding of the structural changes that occur when rice leaves roll in response to drought may assist in determining the physiological mechanisms underlying this feature and determining its potential utility in plant breeding. The anatomical characteristics of rice cultivars native to northeastern Thailand in response to drought stress were evaluated in this study. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) treatments were applied to seedlings of 28 native rice cultivars and two rice breeding cultivars for 10 d. When cultivated in drought-prone environments, the native rice cultivars had a leaf rolling index between 4 and 7, which was classified as moderate to high leaf rolling. Rice leaf anatomy exhibited profound changes in response to drought, with smaller bulliform cells (36.8%), thicker epidermis (10.98%), smaller vascular bundles (7.41%), and smaller bundle sheath cells (11.95%). Decision trees were used to explore the association between the degree of leaf rolling and anatomical traits. According to the decision tree models generated on the basis of the gain ratio, information gain, and Gini index, the epidermis, leaf thickness, and bulliform cells were the major factors of the root nodes, and the maximum accuracy of the models was 70.90%. Overall, the models indicated that rice leaves with a thin epidermis, large bulliform cells, thin leaves, and small vascular bundles are more likely to display high leaf rolling adaptations under drought stress conditions.


drought-stress conditions; leaf anatomy; leaf rolling; decision tree

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5586/aa.7510

Journal ISSN:
  • 2300-357X (online)
  • 0065-0951 (print; ceased since 2016)
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