Root exudation of sugars, amino acids, and organic acids by maize as affected by nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron deficiency

Authors

  • Lilia C. Carvalhais,

    1. Molecular Plant Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
    2. Institute for Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Chausseestrasse 117, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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  • Paul G. Dennis,

    1. Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA, Scotland UK
    2. School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland UK
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  • Dmitri Fedoseyenko,

    1. Molecular Plant Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
    2. Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Corrensstr. 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
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  • Mohammad-Reza Hajirezaei,

    1. Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Corrensstr. 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
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  • Rainer Borriss,

    1. Institute for Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Chausseestrasse 117, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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  • Nicolaus von Wirén

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Corrensstr. 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
    • Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Corrensstr. 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum: Root exudation of sugars, amino acids, and organic acids by maize as affected by nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron deficiency Volume 176, Issue 4, 641, Article first published online: 23 July 2013

Abstract

Root exudates play a major role in the mobilization of sparingly soluble nutrients in the rhizosphere. Since the amount and composition of major metabolites in root exudates from one plant species have not yet been systematically compared under different nutrient deficiencies, relations between exudation patterns and the type of nutrient being deficient remain poorly understood. Comparing root exudates from axenically grown maize plants exposed to N, K, P, or Fe deficiency showed a higher release of glutamate, glucose, ribitol, and citrate from Fe-deficient plants, while P deficiency stimulated the release of γ-aminobutyric acid and carbohydrates. Potassium-starved plants released less sugars, in particular glycerol, ribitol, fructose, and maltose, while under N deficiency lower amounts of amino acids were found in root exudates. Principal-component analysis revealed a clear separation in the variation of the root-exudate composition between Fe or P deficiency versus N or K deficiency in the first principal component, which explained 46% of the variation in the data. In addition, a negative correlation was found between the amounts of sugars, organic and amino acids released under deficiency of a certain nutrient and the diffusion coefficient of the respective nutrient in soils. We thus hypothesize that the release of dominant root exudates such as sugars, amino acids, and organic acids by roots may reflect an ancient strategy to cope with limiting nutrient supply.

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