Release of tartrate as a major carboxylate by alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) under phosphorus deficiency and the effect of soil nitrogen supply

Honghua He, Miaomiao Wu, Lei Guo, Chenbin Fan, Zekun Zhang, Rui Su, Qi Peng, Jiayin Pang, Hans Lambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Plant growth is often limited by low soil phosphorus (P) availability, soil nitrogen (N) availability may affect plants’ responses to P supply. We studied the growth and physiological responses of alfalfa to soil P supply at different N levels. Methods: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants were grown in an alkaline soil supplied with different levels of P (0, 5, and 20 mg kg−1) as monopotassium phosphate, and N (50 and 100 mg kg−1) as ammonium nitrate. Results: Plant biomass and P concentrations always showed positive responses to P addition but not to N addition, nodulation was inhibited by lower P supply and higher N supply. Roots released more phosphatase and carboxylates, mainly tartrate, into the rhizosheath at lower soil P supply and higher N supply. Roots always acidified the rhizosheath, but rhizosheath pH did not vary considerably among treatments. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the release of tartrate as a major carboxylate as affected by soil P supply and N supply, and highlights the importance of investigating plant adaptive strategies for P acquisition from soil with different N availability for proper application of P and N fertilizers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume449
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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