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Responses to K deficiency and waterlogging interact via respiratory and nitrogen metabolism

Cui J., Abadie C., Carroll A., Lamade E., Tcherkez G.. 2019. Plant, Cell and Environment, 42 (2) : p. 647-658.

K deficiency and waterlogging are common stresses that can occur simultaneously and impact on crop development and yield. They are both known to affect catabolism, with rather opposite effects: inhibition of glycolysis and higher glycolytic fermentative flux, respectively. But surprisingly, the effect of their combination on plant metabolism has never been examined precisely. Here, we applied a combined treatment (K availability and waterlogging) to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) plants under controlled greenhouse conditions and performed elemental quantitation, metabolomics, and isotope analyses at different sampling times. Whereas separate K deficiency and waterlogging caused well-known effects such as polyamines production and sugar accumulation, respectively, waterlogging altered K-induced respiration enhancement (via the C5-branched acid pathway) and polyamine production, and K deficiency tended to suppress waterlogging-induced accumulation of Krebs cycle intermediates in leaves. Furthermore, the natural 15N/14N isotope composition (d15N) in leaf compounds shows that there was a change in nitrate circulation, with less nitrate influx to leaves under low K availablity combined with waterlogging and more isotopic dilution of lamina nitrates under high K. Our results show that K deficiency and waterlogging effects are not simply additive, reshape respiration as well as nitrogen metabolism and partitioning, and are associated with metabolomic and isotopic biomarkers of potential interest for crop monitoring.

Thématique : Physiologie et biochimie végétales; Chimie et physique du sol; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement

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