Growth, P uptake and rhizosphere properties of wheat and canola genotypes in an alkaline soil with low P availability

  • Zakaria Solaiman
  • Petra MarschnerEmail author
  • Dongmei Wang
  • Zed Rengel
Original Paper


The aim of the present study was to assess the role of soil type on growth, P uptake and rhizosphere properties of wheat and canola genotypes in an alkaline soil with low P availability. Two wheat (Goldmark and Janz) and two canola genotypes (Drum and Outback) were grown in a calcareous soil (pH 8.5) at two P levels [no P addition (0P) or addition of 200 mg kg−1 P as Ca3(PO4)2 (200P)] and harvested at flowering or maturity. Shoot and root dry weight, root length and shoot P content were greater in the two canola genotypes than in wheat. There were no consistent differences in available P, microbial P and phosphatase activity in the rhizosphere of the different genotypes. Shoot P content was significantly positively correlated with root length, pH and phosphatase activity in the rhizosphere. The microbial community composition, assessed by fatty acid methylester analysis, of the canola genotypes differed strongly from that of the wheat genotypes. The weight percentage bacterial fatty acids, the bacteria/fungi (b/f) ratio and the diversity of fatty acids were greater in the rhizosphere of the canolas than in the rhizosphere of the wheat genotypes. In contrast to the earlier studies in an acidic soil, only small differences in growth and P uptake between the genotypes of one crop were detected in the alkaline soil used here. The results confirmed the importance of root length for P uptake in soils with low P availability and suggest that the rhizosphere microbial community composition may play a role in the better growth of the canola compared to the wheat genotypes.


Canola Fatty acid methylester (FAME) Microbial community composition P uptake Rhizosphere Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA) Root length Wheat 



This study was supported by a Discovery grant from the Australian Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zakaria Solaiman
    • 1
    • 3
  • Petra Marschner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dongmei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zed Rengel
    • 3
  1. 1.Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Key-Laboratory of Soil and Water and Combating DesertificationMinistry of EducationBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, School of Earth and Geographical ScienceThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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