, Volume 325, Issue 1-2, pp 25-38
Date: 23 Jun 2009

Micro-analytical, physiological and molecular aspects of Fe acquisition in leaves of Fe-deficient tomato plants re-supplied with natural Fe-complexes in nutrient solution

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It is well known that in the rhizosphere soluble Fe sources available for plants are mainly a mixture of complexes between the micronutrient and organic ligands such as organic acids and phytosiderophores (PS) released by roots, microbial siderophores as well as fractions of humified organic matter. In the present work, mechanisms of Fe acquisition operating at the leaf level of plants fed with different Fe-complexes were investigated at the micro-analytical, physiological and molecular levels. Fe-deficient tomato plants (Solanum Lycopersicum L., cv. ‘Marmande’) were fed for 24 h with a solution (pH 7.5) containing 1 µM Fe as Fe-PS, Fe-citrate or Fe-WEHS. Thereafter, leaf tissue was used for the visualization of Fe distribution, measurements of Fe content, reduction and uptake, and evaluation of expression of Fe-chelate reductase (LeFRO1), Fe-transporter (LeIRT1) and Ferritin (Ferritin2) genes. Leaf discs isolated from Fe-deficient plants treated for 24 h with Fe-WEHS developed higher rates of translocation, Fe-chelate reduction and 59Fe uptake as compared to plants supplied with Fe-citrate or Fe-PS. Leaves of plants treated with Fe-WEHS also showed higher transcript levels of LeFRO1, LeIRT1 and Ferritin2 genes with respect to plants fed with the other Fe-sources. Data obtained support the idea that the efficient use of Fe complexed to WEHS-like humic fractions involves, at least in part, also the activation of Fe-acquisition mechanisms operating at the leaf level.

Responsible Editor: Jian Feng Ma.