Exposure of barley plants to low Pi leads to rapid changes in root respiration that correlate with specific alterations in amino acid substrates

Ralitza Alexova, Clark Nelson, Richard Jacoby, Harvey Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The majority of inorganic phosphate (Pi) stress studies in plants have focused on the response after growth has been retarded. Evidence from transcript analysis, however, shows that a Pi-stress specific response is initiated within minutes of transfer to low Pi and in crop plants precedes the expression of Pi transporters and depletion of vacuolar Pi reserves by days.
In order to investigate the physiological and metabolic events during early exposure to low Pi in grain crops, we monitored the response of whole barley plants during the first hours following Pi withdrawal.
Lowering the concentration of Pi led to rapid changes in root respiration and leaf gas exchange throughout the early phase of the light course. Combining amino and organic acid analysis with 15N labelling we show a root-specific effect on nitrogen metabolism linked to specific substrates of respiration as soon as 1 h following Pi withdrawal; this explains the respiratory responses observed and was confirmed by stimulation of respiration by exogenous addition of these respiratory substrates to roots.
The rapid adjustment of substrates for respiration in roots during short-term Pi-stress is highlighted and this could help guide roots towards Pi-rich soil patches without compromising biomass accumulation of the plant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-708
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume206
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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