M.R. Karim, Dong XY, Zheng L, Shen RF, Lan P. Can Aluminum Tolerant Wheat Cultivar Perform Better under Phosphate Deficient Conditions? International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018, 19(10): 2964


Low availability of inorganic phosphate (Pi), together with aluminum (Al), is a major constraint for plant growth and development in acidic soils. To investigate whether or not Al-resistant cultivars can perform better under Pi deficiency, we chose two wheat cultivars with different Al-responses—Atlas 66, being Al-tolerant, and Scout 66, which is Al-sensitive—and analyzed their responses to Pi deficiency. Results showed that, unexpectedly, the Al-sensitive cultivar Scout 66 contained comparatively higher amount of soluble phosphate (Pi) and total phosphorus (P) both in the roots and in the shoots than Atlas 66 under P deficiency. In addition, Scout 66 exhibited higher root biomass, root volume, and root tip numbers, compared with Atlas 66. The expression of Pi-responsive marker genes, TaIPS1, TaSPX3, and TaSQD2 was strongly induced in both cultivars, but the extents of induction were higher in Scout 66 than in Atlas 66 under long-term Pi starvation. Taken together, our results suggest that the Al-sensitive cultivar Scout 66 performed much better under sole Pi starvation, which sets the following experimental stage to uncover the underlying mechanisms of why Scout 66 can display better under Pi deficiency. Our study also raises an open question whether Al-resistant plants are more sensitive to Pi deficiency.