, Volume 171, Issue 1, pp 147-150

Analysis of acid-soil stress in sorghum genotypes with emphasis on aluminium and magnesium interactions

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Acid-soil stress in 12 sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) genotypes was attributed mainly to aluminium (Al) toxicity. Root damage and magnesium (Mg) deficiency are two independent aspects of plant sensitivity to Al, either in acid soil or in nutrient solution. At moderate soil acidity, Mg deficiency dominantly limited growth whilst at high acidity root damage overruled the effect of Mg deficiency on the growth response. In nutrient solutions containing Al, increased Mg supply improved both root development and Mg nutrition of plants, whereas increased calcium (Ca) supply, or nutrition with ammonium (NH4) instead of nitrate (NO3), alleviated root damage but amplified Mg deficiency. At lowered pH the syndrome of Al toxicity was more profound. The implications of Mg-Al interactions, root damage, Mg supply and genotype selection are elucidated.