Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Crop species differ in root plasticity response to localised P supply

Rose, T.J., Rengel, Z., Ma, Q. and Bowden, J.W. (2009) Crop species differ in root plasticity response to localised P supply. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 172 (3). pp. 360-368.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


The effect of localised phosphorus (P) fertiliser placement and in particular, deep P fertiliser placement, on the comparative root growth and P uptake of fibrous vs tap-rooted crops is not known. In this study, we examined the root growth and P uptake of wheat (Triticum aestivum L), canola (Brassica napus L), and narrow-leaf lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L) in a split-root system and in columns with deep (19 cm) or shallow (5 cm) P fertiliser sources in glasshouse conditions. In the split-root system, plants of all three species grown under heterogeneous soil P conditions absorbed more P and produced greater root and shoot biomass than those under homogeneous P supply. Root plasticity differed between species under heterogeneous soil P supply: canola and wheat allocated relatively more root biomass and root length to the high P zone than narrow-leaf lupin. In the column experiment, there was no difference in the amount of P accumulated in shoots of any crops grown in the deep vs shallow P fertiliser treatments. Root proliferation occurred within the shallow and deep-P fertiliser bands in all three species; however, root distribution above or below the bands did not differ between deep or shallow P fertiliser treatments in any species. Whilst root plasticity responses to heterogeneous soil P supply differed among species, root architecture (fibrous vs taproot) did not confer any advantage or disadvantage to the acquisition of P from deep vs shallow P fertiliser bands. Moreover, whilst roots proliferate in the vicinity of P fertiliser bands, root distribution outside of the bands appears to remain unaltered in both fibrous and tap-rooted crops during early growth.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: WILEY-VCH Verlag
Copyright: © 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
Item Control Page Item Control Page