Restricted root-to-shoot translocation and decreased sink size are responsible for limited nitrogen uptake in three grass species under water deficit - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Environmental and Experimental Botany Year : 2012

Restricted root-to-shoot translocation and decreased sink size are responsible for limited nitrogen uptake in three grass species under water deficit

Abstract

Earlier studies showed that water deficit reduces nitrogen (N) uptake and N nutrition index of grasses. So far, the main effect of water deficit on N uptake and N nutrition status was ascribed to the alteration of the transpiration-dependent transport of mineral N in the soil solution. A split-root experiment was performed to determine whether plant and/or solution water potential could alter N uptake and allocation, independently of N fluxes in the soil solution. The split-root experiment allowed to manipulate separately the water and the N status of the root environment and of the plant, by various combinations of addition of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG) and mineral N on half or on the entire root system. Tall fescue, Italian ryegrass and cocksfoot, known for their contrasted sensitivities to water deficit, were studied. The addition of PEG largely reduced water and N uptake of the roots on which it was applied (half or entire root system). A significant accumulation of N was observed on the roots to which PEG was added, particularly in cocksfoot and tall fescue, hypothetically contributing to the alteration of N uptake. Cocksfoot displayed a high plasticity in N allocation to leaves related to sheaths, allowing the maintenance of N concentration and therefore its N status despite the reduction in N uptake. By contrast, leaf N concentration and N status of tall fescue and Italian ryegrass was more sensitive to water deficit, similarly to observations of the effect of drought in field studies. Therefore, it is concluded that the effect of soil solution potential on N uptake and plant N allocation may also contribute to the observed effect of drought on N status of grass crops, additionally to the effect of drought on the transfer of mineral N in the soil solution to the root surface. However, the importance of this physiological effect varies among species.

Dates and versions

hal-02650658 , version 1 (29-05-2020)

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Victoria Gonzalez-Dugo, Jean Louis Durand, Francois Gastal, Thierry Bariac, J. Poincheval. Restricted root-to-shoot translocation and decreased sink size are responsible for limited nitrogen uptake in three grass species under water deficit. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 2012, 75, pp.258-267. ⟨10.1016/j.envexpbot.2011.07.009⟩. ⟨hal-02650658⟩
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