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Is chlorophyll fluorescence technique a useful tool to assess manganese deficiency and toxicity stress in olive plants?

Chatzistathis, T.A., Papadakis, I.E., Therios, I.N., Giannakoula, A., Dimassi, K.
Journal of plant nutrition 2011 v.34 no.1-4 pp. 98-114
boron, calcium, chlorophyll, correlation, cultivars, diet-related diseases, fluorescence, greenhouses, hydroponics, iron, leaves, magnesium, manganese, nutrient content, nutrient solutions, nutritional status, olives, phosphorus, potassium, shoots, temporal variation, toxicity, zinc
A 130-day hydroponic experiment was carried out in a glasshouse to examine whether manganese (Mn) concentration in the nutrient solution affects the nutritional status of olive plants and to find out whether the chlorophyll fluorescence technique is suitable to assess Mn toxicity and/or deficiency stress in olive plants prior to the appearance of these two nutritional disorders. For this purpose, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (F(v)/F(m) and F(v)/F(0) ratios) were recorded every 40 days in the leaves of 'Kothreiki' and 'FS-17' olive cultivars, which were irrigated with Hoagland's nutrient solutions containing various Mn concentrations. In parallel the elongation of the main shoot of all experimental plants, as well as the concentrations of Mn, iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), boron (B), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K) in their leaves were recorded. The following Mn treatments were applied: 0 μM Mn (to induce Mn deficiency), 40 μM Mn (to promote normal growth), and 640 μM Mn (to induce Mn toxicity). Our results indicated that not only the rate of shoot elongation but also the fluctuation with time of the leaf concentrations of all determined mineral elements (except for Mn) was not significantly affected by the Mn concentration in the nutrient solution, irrespectively of the cultivar. This was not observed with regard to the time variation of the F(v)/F(m) and F(v)/F(0) ratios, where the values of these parameters were significantly reduced in the 640 μM Mn treatment at the 80th and 130th day of the experiment in both olive cultivars, compared to the relevant previous ones (those of the days 0 and 40th), something which did not happen in the other two Mn treatments (0 and 40 μM). However, in none of the two cultivars tested and in any of the three Mn treatments (0, 40 and 640μM) the F(v)/F(m) and F(v)/F(0) ratios did not drop below the critical values of 0.8 and 4, respectively, even at the end of the experiment, where high Mn concentrations were found in the leaves of both cultivars treated with 640 μM Mn (616 μg g-1 d.w. in 'FS-17' and 734 μg g-1 d.w. in 'Kothreiki'). Symptoms of Mn toxicity (curling and brown speckles) were observed in the top leaves of both cultivars, after the 90th day of the experiment. At the same time, the final leaf Mn concentrations (those of the 130th day of the experiment) in plants grown under 0 μM Mn were 23 μg g-1 d.w. in 'FS-17' and 20 μg g-1 d.w. in 'Kothreiki', i.e., a little above of the deficiency range (<20 μg g-1 d.w.). At the 130th day, Mn concentration in nutrient solution, as well as Mn concentration in the leaves of both olive cultivars was negatively correlated with the leaf concentration of Fe and the values of the F(v)/F(m) and F(v)/F(0) ratios, and positively with the concentrations of Zn and P in the leaves. Finally, the periodical measurement of the F(v)/F(m) and F(v)/F(0) ratios was proved to be a non-reliable means to predict the appearance of the visible symptoms of Mn toxicity in olive leaves (although their values declined significantly at the 80th and 130th day of the experiment in both olive cultivars).