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Wheat responses to sodium vary with potassium use efficiency of cultivars

Krishnasamy, K., Bell, R. and Ma, Q. (2014) Wheat responses to sodium vary with potassium use efficiency of cultivars. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5 . pp. 1-10.

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The role of varied sodium (Na) supply in K nutrition of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is not well understood especially among cultivars differing in K efficiency. We examined the response of K-efficient and K-inefficient Australian wheat cultivars to Na supply (low to high Na) under K-deficient and K-adequate conditions. In a pot experiment, wheat cvv Wyalkatchem, Cranbrook (K-efficient), and cvv Gutha, Gamenya (K-inefficient) were grown for 8 weeks in a sandy soil containing 40 or 100 mg K/kg in combination with nil, 25, 50, 100, or 200 mg Na/kg. High soil Na levels (100, 200 mg Na/kg) greatly reduced plant growth in all four cultivars especially at low soil K (40 mg K/kg). By contrast, low to moderate soil Na levels (25, 50 mg Na/kg) stimulated root dry weight at low K supply, particularly in K-efficient cultivars compared with K-inefficient cultivars. At low K supply, low to moderate Na failed to increase shoot Na to a concentration where substitution of K would be feasible. However, low to moderate Na supply increased shoot K concentration and content in all four wheat cultivars, and it increased leaf photosynthesis and stomatal conductance to measured values similar to those under adequate K and nil Na conditions. The results showed that low to moderate Na stimulated K uptake by wheat particularly in K-efficient cultivars and through increased shoot K enhanced the photosynthesis. We conclude that increased photosynthesis supplied more assimilates that led to increased root growth and that greater root growth response of K-efficient cultivars is related to their greater K-utilization efficiency. However, the process by which low to moderate Na increased shoot K content warrants further investigation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Frontiers
Notes: his Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission
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