Plant and Soil

, Volume 370, Issue 1, pp 305–315

Physiological and biochemical responses of the iron chlorosis tolerant grapevine rootstock 140 Ruggeri to iron deficiency and bicarbonate

  • José Ignacio Covarrubias
  • Adamo Domenico Rombolà
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-013-1623-2

Cite this article as:
Covarrubias, J.I. & Rombolà, A.D. Plant Soil (2013) 370: 305. doi:10.1007/s11104-013-1623-2


Background and aims

Iron (Fe) deficiency chlorosis associated with high levels of soil bicarbonate is one of the main nutritional disorders observed in sensitive grapevine genotypes. The aim of the experiment was to assess both the independent and combined effects of Fe and bicarbonate nutrition in grapevine.


Plants of the Fe chlorosis tolerant 140 Ruggeri rootstock were grown with and without Fe(III)-EDTA and bicarbonate in the nutrient solution. SPAD index, plant growth, root enzyme (PEPC, MDH, CS, NADP+ −IDH) activities, kinetic properties of root PEPC, organic acid concentrations in roots and xylem sap and xylem sap pH were determined. A factorial statistical design with two factors (Fe and BIC) and two levels of each factor was adopted: +Fe and −Fe, and +BIC and −BIC.


This rootstock strongly reacted to Fe deficiency by activating several response mechanisms at different physiological levels. The presence of bicarbonate in the nutrient solution changed the activity of PEPC and TCA related enzymes (CS, NADP+-IDH) and the accumulation/translocation of organic acids in roots of Fe-deprived plants. Moreover, this genotype increased root biomass and root malic acid concentration in response to high bicarbonate levels in the substrate. Bicarbonate also enhanced leaf chlorophyll content.


Along with a clear independent effect on Fe nutrition, our data support a modulating role of bicarbonate on Fe deficiency response mechanisms at root level.


IronBicarbonateGrapevineEnzyme activityOrganic acids



Bovine serum albumin


Coenzyme A


Citrate synthase


Dry weight


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Fresh weight


Malate dehydrogenase


Isocitrate dehydrogenase


Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase


Tricarboxylic acid

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Ignacio Covarrubias
    • 1
  • Adamo Domenico Rombolà
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Production, Faculty of Agronomical SciencesUniversity of ChileLa PintanaChile
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Sciences, Viticulture SectionUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly