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Interactions between high pH and iron supply on nodulation and iron nutrition of Lupinus albus L. genotypes differing in sensitivity to iron deficiency

Tang, C., Zheng, S.J., Qiao, Y.F., Wang, G.H., Han, X.Z.
Plant and soil 2006 v.279 no.1-2 pp. 153-162
Lupinus albus, legumes, genetic variation, nodulation, plant nutrition, cations, chlorophyll, Bradyrhizobium, alkaline soils, soil pH, soil nutrients, iron, nutrient availability, nutrient deficiencies
Poor growth of white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) on alkaline soils may result from its sensitivity to iron deficiency and poor nodulation. This study examined interactive effects of iron supply and high pH on the growth and nodulation of three genotypes differing in their sensitivity to iron deficiency. Three genotypes (P27486, Ultra and WTD180) were grown for 17 days in buffered solutions with Fe supply of 0.2, 2 and 20 μM. Solution pH was adjusted to 5.2, 6.5 or 7.5. Plant growth, nodulation and nutrient concentrations in plants were measured. Decreasing Fe supply decreased chlorophyll concentration in young leaves by up to 92%. Increasing pH decreased chlorophyll concentration by an average of 40% at pH 6.5 and by 47% at pH 7.5. The decrease of chlorophyll was less obvious in P27485 than in Ultra or WTD180. Shoot biomass was reduced by up to 18% by Fe deficiency, with such decrease being less for P27486. Increasing pH exacerbated the effect of Fe deficiency on shoot biomass only of Ultra. Decreasing Fe supply decreased nodule number by an average of 54%, and increasing pH decreased nodule number by 80%. P27486 formed the greatest number of nodules while WTD180 the least. P27486 had high Fe uptake and low internal requirement. Irrespective of genotype, leaf chlorosis positively correlated with cluster root formation. The results suggest that a combination of Fe deficiency and high pH impaired nodulation in L. albus, and that selection of genotypes for both tolerance of iron deficiency and good nodulation at high pH is important for a successful lupin crop on alkaline soils.