Photosynthetica

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 227–233 | Cite as

Root nutrient uptake enhances photosynthetic assimilation in prey-deprived carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes talangensis

  • A. Pavlovič
  • L. Singerová
  • V. Demko
  • J. Šantrůček
  • J. Hudák
Original Papers

Abstract

Carnivorous plants grow in nutrient-poor habitats and obtain substantial amount of nitrogen from prey. Specialization toward carnivory may decrease the ability to utilize soil-derived sources of nutrients in some species. However, no such information exists for pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, nor the effect of nutrient uptake via the roots on photosynthesis in carnivorous plants is known. The principal aim of present study was to investigate, whether improved soil nutrient status increases photosynthetic efficiency in prey-deprived pitcher plant Nepenthes talangensis. Gas exchange and chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence were measured simultaneously and were correlated with Chl and nitrogen concentration as well as with stable carbon isotope abundance (δ13C) in control and fertilized N. talangensis plants. Net photosynthetic rate (P N) and maximum- (Fv/Fm) and effective quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦPSII) were greater in the plants supplied with nutrients. Biomass, leaf nitrogen, and Chl (a+b) also increased in fertilized plants. In contrast, δ13C did not differ significantly between treatments indicating that intercellular concentration of CO2 did not change. We can conclude that increased root nutrient uptake enhanced photosynthetic efficiency in prey-deprived N. talangensis plants. Thus, the roots of Nepenthes plants are functional and can obtain a substantial amount of nitrogen from the soil.

Additional keywords

carnivorous plant chlorophyll fluorescence gas exchange Nepenthes talangensis nitrogen supply pitcher plant rate of photosynthesis 

Abbreviations

Ca

ambient CO2 concentration

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

Chl

chlorophyll

F0

minimal fluorescence

F0

F0 of the light-adapted state

Fv/Fm

maximal quantum yield of PSII

gs

stomatal conductance

NPQ

non-photochemical quenching

PAR

photosynthetic active radiation

PN

net photosynthetic rate

PNmax

maximum net photosynthetic rate at saturation irradiance

PNUE

photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency

PSII

photosystem II

qP

photochemical quenching coefficient

RD

respiration rate

WUE

water use efficiency

δ13C

carbon stable isotope abundance

ΦPSII

effective quantum yield of PSII

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Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grant VEGA 1/0040/09. We thank Zelené údolÍ (Czech Republic) for providing the N. talangensis plants for our experiments; Martina Vašková, Daniel Hisem, and JiřÍ Květoň for IRMS analyses.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Pavlovič
    • 1
  • L. Singerová
    • 1
  • V. Demko
    • 1
  • J. Šantrůček
    • 2
  • J. Hudák
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of BiologyThe University of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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