Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/jpln.201200551
Title (Primary) Metabolic response of Medicago sativa to severe nutrient imbalances and disturbances under field conditions
Author Fester, T.; Merbach, I.; Schulz, E.; Härtig, C.
Source Titel Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Year 2014
Department BZF; UMB; BOOEK
Volume 177
Issue 2
Page From 245
Page To 259
Language englisch
Keywords legumes; nitrogen; phosphorus; potassium; metabolite profiles; perturbations
UFZ wide themes RU1
Abstract Our experiments were focused on the metabolic footprint of mineral-nutrient availability under field conditions. While there are multiple factors potentially blurring such footprints, we hypothesized that physiological and metabolic adaptations of established plants are particularly important mechanisms under field conditions. To study respective differences between young and established plants and to study the impact of disturbances on the adaptive capacity of established plants, we analyzed Medicago sativa plants of different age from plots with marked differences in the levels of soil mineral nutrients established in a long-term fertilization experiment. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry was used to determine metabolite profiles of sink and source leaves of plants in an early state of development (“young plants”), just before the first harvest (“established plants”), and a short time after the second harvest (“regrowing plants”). Metabolite profiles from young plants were markedly responsive to soil mineral nutrients and resembled respective profiles from controlled conditions, demonstrating that overall variability of growth and sampling conditions had relatively little importance for the metabolite profiles recorded. In the case of established plants, however, we observed only little impact of availability of mineral nutrients on metabolite profiles. This low metabolic responsiveness of plants was partially lost after severe disturbances (removal of the plant shoot). Metabolite profiling, in summary, is able to detect a metabolic footprint of mineral-nutrient availability in young plants under field conditions and may provide information about the ability of older plants to partially uncouple their metabolism from the environment. In addition, it is also possible to determine the impact of disturbances on this ability of the plant organism.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Fester, T., Merbach, I., Schulz, E., Härtig, C. (2014):
Metabolic response of Medicago sativa to severe nutrient imbalances and disturbances under field conditions
J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 177 (2), 245 - 259 10.1002/jpln.201200551