Plant and Soil

, Volume 270, Issue 1, pp 257–267 | Cite as

A comparative study between two citrus rootstocks: Effect of nitrate on the root morpho-topology and net nitrate uptake

  • Agostino Sorgonà
  • Maria Rosa Abenavoli
  • Giovanni Cacco


Root morpho-topology and net nitrate uptake of two citrus seedlings, Volkamer Lemon and Carrizo Citrange, grown at two nitrogen supplies (NO3-N 5 μM and 1000 μM, respectively) were studied. Root morphological and topological parameters were gauged by an image-specific analysis system (WinRHIZO). Net nitrate uptake was estimated using the nitrate depletion method. The main findings showed that Carrizo seedlings had a dichotomous branching root system characterized by high root tip numbers and long 2 nd order lateral roots. Conversely, Volkamer root systems had a herringbone structure with a long tap root and 1 st order lateral root. Nitrate treatment did not seem to affect the pattern of the two genotypes, except for the 2 nd order lateral roots (Carrizo more than Volkamer) and root/shoot ratio and root mass ratio (Volkamer more than Carrizo) that were significantly different at low nitrate supply. Nitrate treatments induced a diverse net nitrate uptake regulation between citrus rootstocks. Indeed, at low nitrate supply, Carrizo showed a more efficient nitrate acquisition process in terms of: 1) higher net nitrate uptake maximum of the inducible high affinity transport system or ‘full induction’ (A), (2) higher cumulative nitrate uptake (A t ) and (3) lower t1 parameter defined as the half time of the net nitrate uptake rate of the inducible transport system during the induction phase, compared to Volkamer. Conversely, at the high nitrate level, only the genotypical difference of the t1 parameter was maintained. The results suggested that, at the low nitrate level, the morphological root traits such as higher 2 nd order lateral roots and greater root tip numbers of the Carrizo compared with Volkamer seedlings, enhance the capacity to absorb nitrate from nutrient solution.


Carrizo Citrange nitrate uptake root morphology root topology Volkamer Lemon 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agostino Sorgonà
    • 1
  • Maria Rosa Abenavoli
    • 1
  • Giovanni Cacco
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Bioteconologie per il Monitoraggio Agroalimentare ed AmbientaleUniversità degli Studi ‘Mediterranea’ di Reggio CalabriaFeo di Vito – Reggio CalabriaItalia

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