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Root system architecture determines fitness in an Arabidopsis mutant in competition for immobile phosphate ions but not for nitrate ions

Fitter, A, Williamson, L, Linkohr, B and Leyser, O (2002) Root system architecture determines fitness in an Arabidopsis mutant in competition for immobile phosphate ions but not for nitrate ions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. pp. 2017-2022. ISSN 1471-2954

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Abstract

Plant root systems often have complex branching patterns. Models indicate that a complex architecture is only required for the acquisition of immobile resources, such as phosphate; mobile ions, notably nitrate, can be effectively taken up by very restricted root systems. We have tested this prediction using the axr4 mutation of Arabidopsis thaliana, the principal phenotypic effect of which is to reduce the number of lateral roots. Arabidopsis thaliana is not a host for mycorrhizal fungi and so acquires all its nutrients through the root system. In both a pot experiment and a field experiment conducted under natural conditions for A. thaliana, we found that only phosphate, and not nitrate, affected the fitness of the mutant relative to the isogenic wild-type line, Columbia. These results confirm model predictions and have implications both for the evolution of complex root systems and for the design of efficient root systems for crops.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2002 The Royal Society
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, Columbia, axr4, phosphate, nitrate, root branching, PLANTS BOTHER, PROLIFERATION, AVAILABILITY, CAPTURE, SOIL, GENE
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2004
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 14:31
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2002.2120
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/186

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