Which stage of nodule initiation in Lupinus angustifolius L. is sensitive to iron deficiency?
Tang, C., Robson, A.D. and Dilworth, M.J. (1991) Which stage of nodule initiation in Lupinus angustifolius L. is sensitive to iron deficiency? New Phytologist, 117 (2). pp. 243-250.
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Transfer experiments in solution culture were conducted to establish the stage of nodulation in lupins (Lupinus angustifolius L. cv. Yandee) most sensitive to iron deficiency. In all experiments, iron deficiency had a much greater effect on nodule number than on host plant growth. Irrespective of the iron treatment of either the Bradyrhizobium or the lupin plant prior to inoculation, plants receiving 2.5 μM iron after inoculation successfully formed nodule initials and nodules while those receiving 0.05 μM iron almost completely failed to initiate nodules. Thus, the prevention of nodulation by iron deficiency is not a consequence of either an inadequate number of infective bradyrhizobia surviving in the solution or an alteration in the iron status of the host root. Supply of 2.5 μM iron for 4 d or more after inoculation produced a similar number of nodule initials and nodules as did continuous supply of 2.5 μMiron. Delaying supply of 2.5 μM iron for 3 d or less after inoculation did not delay or prevent nodule initiation and formation. One‐day exposure of plants to 2.5μM iron on day 4 after inoculation induced the highest number of nodules of any 1 d treatment although this short exposure was not enough to allow the full complement of nodules to form. Hence, the impairment of the nodulation process by iron deficiency can be attributed to the prevention of a step at day 4, the stage just before nodule initials are formed. A further study was conducted to examine the effect of iron on nodule formation by using a vertical split‐root technique in which Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) was added to the upper compartment. Compared to plants receiving 0.05 μM iron in both compartments, plants receiving 0.05 μM in the upper and 5 5 μM iron in the lower compartments had only a slightly higher concentration of iron in the cortex of the upper part of the root. Furthermore, supplying 5 μM iron to the lower part of a root did not permit nodulation on the upper part of the root receiving 0.05 μMiron. Low concentration of iron in the cortex of roots may limit nodule formation.
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