Plant–microbe competition: does injection of isotopes of C and N into the rhizosphere effectively characterise plant use of soil N?

Paul W. Hill, Davey L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite considerable attention over the last 25 yr, the importance of early protein breakdown products to plant nitrogen (N) nutrition remains uncertain. We used rhizosphere injection of 15N-, 13C- and 14C-labelled inorganic N and amino acid (l-alanine), with chase periods from 1 min to 24 h, to investigate the duration of competition for amino acid between roots (Triticum aestivum) and soil microorganisms. We further investigated how microbial modification of l-alanine influenced plant carbon (C) and N recovery. From recovery of C isotopes, intact alanine uptake was 0.2–1.3% of added. Soil microbes appeared to remove alanine from soil solution within 1 min and release enough NH4 + to account for all plant 15N recovery (over 24 h) within 5 min. Microbially generated inorganic or keto acid C accounted for < 25% of the lowest estimate of intact alanine uptake. Co-location of C and N labels appears a reasonable measure of intact uptake. Potential interference from microbially modified C is probably modest, but may increase with chase period. Similarly, competition for l-alanine is complete within a few minutes in soil, whereas NO3 added at the same rate is available for > 24 h, indicating that long chase periods bias outcomes and fail to accurately simulate soil processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-806
Number of pages11
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume221
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Plant–microbe competition: does injection of isotopes of C and N into the rhizosphere effectively characterise plant use of soil N?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this