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Intrinsic root morphology determines the phosphorus acquisition efficiency of five annual pasture legumes irrespective of mycorrhizal colonisation

Abstract : Mycorrhizal fungi are ubiquitous in agroecosystems and form symbiotic associations that contribute to the phosphorus (P) acquisition of many plants. The impact of mycorrhizas is most pronounced in P-deficient soil and commonly involves modifications to the root morphology of colonised plants. However, the consequences of mycorrhizal colonisation on root acclimation responses to P stress are not well described. Five annual pasture legumes, with differing root morphologies, were grown to determine the effect of mycorrhizal colonisation on shoot yield, root morphology and P uptake. Micro-swards of each legume were established in pots filled with a topsoil layer that had been amended with five rates of P fertiliser. The topsoil overlaid a low-P subsoil that mimicked the stratification of P that occurs under pasture. Mycorrhizal colonisation improved P acquisition and shoot yield in the low-P soil treatments, but did not reduce the critical external P requirement of the legumes for near-maximum yield. The yield responses of the mycorrhizal plants were associated with reduced dry matter allocation to topsoil roots, which meant that the P acquisition benefit associated with mycorrhizal colonisation was not additive in the P-deficient soil. The contribution of the mycorrhizal association to P acquisition was consistent among the legumes when they were compared at an equivalent level of plant P stress, and was most pronounced below a P stress index of ~0.5. The intrinsic root morphology of the legumes determined their differences in P-acquisition efficiency irrespective of mycorrhizal colonisation.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03009693
Contributor : Dominique Fournier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 1:27:11 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 4:09:32 AM

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Jonathan Mclachlan, Adeline Becquer, Rebecca Haling, Richard Simpson, Richard Flavel, et al.. Intrinsic root morphology determines the phosphorus acquisition efficiency of five annual pasture legumes irrespective of mycorrhizal colonisation. Functional Plant Biology, CSIRO Publishing, 2021, 48 (2), pp.156-170. ⟨10.1071/FP20007⟩. ⟨hal-03009693⟩

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