Localized micronutrient patches induce lateral root foraging and chemotropism in Nicotiana attenuata

Ferrieri, Abigail P.; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Arce, Carla C. M.; Kessler, Danny; Baldwin, Ian T.; Erb, Matthias (2017). Localized micronutrient patches induce lateral root foraging and chemotropism in Nicotiana attenuata. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 59(10), pp. 759-771. Wiley 10.1111/jipb.12566

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Nutrients are distributed unevenly in the soil. Phenotypic plasticity in root growth and proliferation may enable plants to cope with this variation and effectively forage for essential nutrients. However, how micronutrients shape root architecture of plants in their natural environments is poorly understood. We employed a combination of field and laboratory-based assays to determine the capacity of Nicotiana attenuata to direct root growth towards localized nutrient patches in its native environment. Plants growing in nature displayed a particular root phenotype consisting of a single primary root and a few long, shallow lateral roots. Analysis of bulk soil surrounding the lateral roots revealed a strong positive correlation between lateral root placement and micronutrient gradients, including copper, iron and zinc. In laboratory assays, the application of localized micronutrient salts close to lateral root tips led to roots bending in the direction of copper and iron. This form of chemotropism was absent in ethylene and jasmonic acid deficient lines, suggesting that it is controlled in part by these two hormones. This work demonstrates that directed root growth underlies foraging behavior, and suggests that chemotropism and micronutrient-guided root placement are important factors that shape root architecture in nature.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Ruiz Machado, Ricardo Alberto; Marques Arce, Carla Cristina and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1672-9072

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2017 08:03

Last Modified:

02 Jul 2018 11:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jipb.12566

PubMed ID:

28650091

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.101672

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101672

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