Role of roots in adaptation of soil-indifferent Proteaceae to calcareous soils in south-western Australia

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Abstract

Very few of the >650 Proteaceae species in south-western Australia cope with the high calcium (Ca) levels in young, calcareous soils (soil-indifferent), most are Ca-sensitive and occur on nutrient-impoverished, acidic soils (calcifuge). We assessed possible control points for Ca transport across roots of two soil-indifferent (Hakea prostrata and Banksia prionotes) and two calcifuge (H. incrassata and B. menziesii) Proteaceae. Using quantitative X-ray microanalysis, we investigated cell-specific elemental Ca concentrations at two positions behind the apex in relation to development of apoplastic barriers in roots of plants grown in nutrient solution supplied with low or high Ca supply. In H. prostrata, Ca accumulated in outer cortical cells at 20 mm behind the apex, but [Ca] was low in other cell types. In H. incrassata [Ca] was low in all cells. Accumulation of Ca in roots of H. prostrata corresponded with development of apoplastic barriers in the endodermis. We found similar [Ca] profiles in roots and similar [Ca] in leaves of two contrasting Banksia species. Soil-indifferent Hakea and Banksia species show different strategies to inhabit calcareous soils: H. prostrata intercepts Ca in roots, reducing transport to shoots, whereas B. prionotes allocates Ca to specific leaf cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490–1505
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2021

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