Changes in nutrient allocation between roots and shoots of young maize plants during sulfate deprivation

Authors

  • Dimitris L. Bouranis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
    • Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
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  • Styliani N. Chorianopoulou,

    1. Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
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  • Vassilis F. Siyiannis,

    1. Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
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  • Vassilis E. Protonotarios,

    1. Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
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  • Christos Koufos,

    1. Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
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  • Philippa Maniou

    1. Plant Physiology Laboratory, Plant Biology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
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Abstract

Hydroponically grown maize (Zea mays L.) plants were deprived of the external source of sulfate following an initial period of 13 d during which the sulfur (S) supply was sufficient. The amounts of dry mass (DM), water, sulfate, sulfur, nitrate, ammonium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, boron, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese were monitored in the shoots and the roots for 10 d. The deprivation altered the nutritional balance between them, causing a 70% decrease of sulfate in shoots and roots after 2 d. At 10 d, 95% of sulfate had vanished in both shoots and roots. Total S remained rather constant in shoots or was slightly decreased in roots after 4 d. This coincided with a decrease of Fe in shoots after 4 d. The calculated decreases of S and Fe in –S shoots, up to 6 d were linearly correlated. Kinetic analysis of the changes revealed a sequence in their onset, and we distinguished early and late changes. Among the early changes, we highlight the following ones: (1) an increased amount of Cu in both shoots and roots at 2 d; Fe was 40% decreased in both shoots and roots at 2 d; (2) a decrease in transpiration rate by 35% after 2 d; (3) alterations in boron allocation; in –S shoots the % changes in S were linearly correlated with the corresponding % changes in B; (4) calcium content was not affected by the S deprivation in –S shoots, whilst it increased in –S root after d 2; (5) Mn and Mg decreased from the beginning and in a uniform fashion in both –S shoots and roots. Day 6 may be considered as the boundary between the early and late changes. The root fraction of DM increased progressively after 4 d. Changes in DM seemed to be similar to those of P. Changes of Zn also took place rather late. In –S shoots and for the time interval between 6 d and 10 d, linear correlations were found between the corresponding % changes of the pairs DM–S, DM–P, DM–N, DM–water, S–N, S–P, and N–P.

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