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Root foraging and avoidance in hyperaccumulator and excluder plants: a rhizotron experiment

Abstract : Abstract Aims Metal hyperaccumulation is a rare phenomenon described for an increasing number of plant taxa. In this study we investigated the root growth responses of the well-known nickel, zinc, cadmium hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens and of the metal tolerant (non-accumulator) Stellaria media , in order to observe root foraging vs avoidance responses to nickel. Methods To allow for observations of root growth and foraging preferences, two accessions of Noccaea caerulescens and two accessions of Stellaria media orginating from high nickel and low nickel habitats were grown in rhizotrons with localized nickel enrichment. Results The root density in the control and nickel-enriched soil areas in the rhizotrons with different N. caerulescens accessions had distinct responses: moderate nickel avoidance was recorded for the non-nickel accession, while a clear foraging response was observed in N. caerulescens from the nickel accession. In contrast, nickel rooting avoidance was observed for both S. media accessions and was more pronounced in the non-nickel accession. Conclusions This study shows that N. caerulescens originating from different accessions responded differently to soil nickel enrichment, with the nickel accession of N. caerulescens actively foraging for nickel, suggesting a physiological adaptation and demand for this metal. In contrast, a clear nickel avoidance response by a metal tolerant species , S. media , was observed in this study, a phenomenon which has not been previously described; this suggests that root avoidance responses might play a role in the adaptation of metal tolerant species to Ni-rich soils.
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Contributor : Christopher Lallemant <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 11:21:20 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 25, 2021 - 3:26:48 AM

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Alice Tognacchini, Mirko Salinitro, Markus Puschenreiter, Antony van der Ent. Root foraging and avoidance in hyperaccumulator and excluder plants: a rhizotron experiment. Plant and Soil, Springer Verlag, 2020, 450 (1-2), pp.287-302. ⟨10.1007/s11104-020-04488-2⟩. ⟨hal-03269696⟩



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