Plant and Soil

, Volume 123, Issue 2, pp 147–153 | Cite as

Genotypical differences among graminaceous species in release of phytosiderophores and uptake of iron phytosiderophores

  • V. Römheld
  • H. Marschner


Graminaceous species can enhance iron (Fe) acquisition from sparingly soluble inorganic Fe(III) compounds by release of phytosiderophores (PS) which mobilize Fe(III) by chelation. In most graminaceous species Fe deficiency increases the rate of PS release from roots by a factor of 10–20, but in some species, for example sorghum, this increase is much less. The chemical nature of PS can differ between species and even cultivars.

The various PS are similarly effective as the microbial siderophore Desferal (ferrioxamine B methane sulfonate) in mobilizing Fe(III) from a calcareous soil. Under the same conditions the synthetic chelator DTPA (diaethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid) is ineffective.

The rate of Fe(III)PS uptake by roots of graminaceous species increases by a factor of about 5 under Fe deficiency. In contrast, uptake of Fe from both synthetic and microbial Fe(III) chelates is much lower and not affected by the Fe nutritional status of the plants. This indicates that in graminaceous species under Fe deficiency a specific uptake system for FePS is activated. In contrast, the specific uptake system for FePS is absent in dicots. In a given graminaceous species the uptake rates of the various FePS are similar, but vary between species by a factor of upto 3. In sorghum, despite the low rate of PS release, the rate of FePS uptake is particularly high.

The results indicate that release of PS and subsequent uptake of FePS are under different genetic control. The high susceptibility of sorghum to Fe deficiency (‘lime-chlorosis’) is most probably caused by low rates of PS release in the early seedling stage. Therefore in sorghum, and presumably other graminaceous species also, an increase in resistance to ‘lime chlorosis’ could be best achieved by breeding for cultivars with high rates of PS release. In corresponding screening procedures attention should be paid to the effects of iron nutritional status and daytime on PS release as well as on rapid microbial degradation of PS.

Key words

barley chlorosis resistance cucumber genotypical differences grasses iron mobilization iron uptake maize microorganisms oat phytosiderophores rice root exudates root growth rye sorghum wheat 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Römheld
    • 1
  • H. Marschner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PflanzenernährungUniversität HohenheimStuttgart 70FRG

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