Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Enhanced Adaptation to Low-P stress by Altering Rhizosphere Exudation and P-Uptake Rate other than Root Morphological Traits in Two Maize Genotypes

Version 1 : Received: 21 February 2019 / Approved: 22 February 2019 / Online: 22 February 2019 (04:12:34 CET)

How to cite: Tang, H.; Wang, Y.; Niu, L.; Jing, W.; Chen, Y. Enhanced Adaptation to Low-P stress by Altering Rhizosphere Exudation and P-Uptake Rate other than Root Morphological Traits in Two Maize Genotypes. Preprints 2019, 2019020212 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201902.0212.v1). Tang, H.; Wang, Y.; Niu, L.; Jing, W.; Chen, Y. Enhanced Adaptation to Low-P stress by Altering Rhizosphere Exudation and P-Uptake Rate other than Root Morphological Traits in Two Maize Genotypes. Preprints 2019, 2019020212 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201902.0212.v1).

Abstract

Alterations in root morphology and physiology are important strategies in plants to adapt to low-phosphorus (P) environments. Maize genotypes differed in nitrogen (N) efficiency may also respond differently to low P stress. This study aimed to investigate the responses of root morphological and physiological traits of these two maize cultivars to P deficit and how these traits were linked with the acquisition of soil P. Two maize cultivars, XY335 (N efficient) and ZD958 (N inefficient), were cultivated for 40 days in a calcareous loamy soil amended with (high P) or without (low P) P. Functional root traits were used to evaluate the morphological and physiological responses to low P supply. Two separate short-term experiments determined the correlation between P uptake rate and P supply intensity (hydroponic) or root hair length under two P treatments (rhizobox). Low P status significantly simulated biomass allocation to roots, specific root length and exudations of carboxylates, while decreased root diameter and rhizosphere pH in both maize cultivars. Two cultivars had different total root length and root surface area under low P stress: increased in ZD958 and decreased in XY335. Both genotypes developed longer root hair under P deficit. ZD958 (greater biomass and shoot P content) has a greater capability at accessing soil P than XY335. Rhizosphere exudation of citric acid was significantly higher in ZD958 than in XY335, while there was not significant genotypic difference in rhizosphere pH and exudation of malic acid and acid phosphatase activity. ZD958 had higher P uptake rate than XY335 when solution P was between 12.5 and 250 µM. This study identified ZD958 as a P-efficient genotype, which better adapted to low P stress by altering root physiological traits (exudation of citric acid and P uptake rate), rather than root morphological traits (total root length, root surface area, root hair length). Our results highlight the importance of analyzing root morphological and physiological traits to enhance our understanding of the physiological mechanisms of P acquisition.

Subject Areas

carboxylate exudation; P efficiency; root exudate; root traits; rhizosphere

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