Phosphorus-fertilisation has differential effects on leaf growth and photosynthetic capacity of Arachis hypogaea L.

  • Qingwen Shi
  • Jiayin Pang
  • Jean Wan Hong Yong
  • Chunming Bai
  • Caio Guilherme Pereira
  • Qiaobo Song
  • Di Wu
  • Qiping Dong
  • Xin Cheng
  • Feng Wang
  • Junlin Zheng
  • Yifei LiuEmail author
  • Hans Lambers
Regular Article



The objectives of this study were to assess how Arachis hypogaea L. (peanut or groundnut) responds to different P supplies in terms of growth and photosynthesis, and to determine the optimum P supply and differential P stress thresholds.


We investigated biomass production, leaf expansion, photosynthetic parameters, relative chlorophyll concentration, P700 parameters and chlorophyll fluorescence in a climate-controlled chamber at different P supplies (0.1, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 mM).


Both deficient and excessive exogenous P supplies significantly reduced leaf growth, relative chlorophyll concentration and dry matter production in two high-yielding peanut cultivars. The optimum P range was 0.8–1.1 mM for peanut seedlings. Through principal component analysis (PCA) and data fitting, we found that the trade-off of the normalised actual quantum yield [Y(II)] and non-regulatory quantum yield [Y(NO)] in photosystem II (PSII) under light is one of the best proxies to determine the suboptimal, supraoptimal, deficient and toxic P supplies, because they are the two key factors with major positive and negative effects of PC1, accounting for 75.5% of the variability. The suboptimal P range was 0.41–0.8 mM and the supraoptimal P range was 1.1–1.72 mM. The suboptimal P supplies corresponded with a leaf P concentration range of 4.8–8.1 mg P g−1 DW, while the supraoptimal P supplies corresponded with a leaf P concentration range of 9.9–12.2 mg P g−1 DW.


Both deficient and toxic P levels severely inhibited leaf growth and photosynthesis of peanut, and these unfavourable conditions were associated with significant reduction of biomass and photosynthesis, and photodamage extending beyond PSII. The trade-off of the normalised Y(II) and Y(NO) is a useful benchmark to demarcate deficient, suboptimal, supraoptimal and toxic P-fertilisations levels in A. hypogaea.


Peanut Phosphorus Suboptimal Supraoptimal Photosynthesis 



The authors would like to thank to the anonymous reviewers for their very valuable suggestions and comments on the manuscript. This study was funded by Natural Science Foundation of China (31772391, 31301842), National Key Research and Development Plan (2018YFD0201206), the Xing Liao Talents Project and Sheng Jing Talents Project (RC170338), China Scholarship Council Project (CSC 201708210143) and National Peanut Research System (CARS-13- Nutrient Management). Thanks to Prof. Xinhua He for internal review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingwen Shi
    • 1
  • Jiayin Pang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean Wan Hong Yong
    • 4
    • 5
  • Chunming Bai
    • 6
  • Caio Guilherme Pereira
    • 4
  • Qiaobo Song
    • 1
  • Di Wu
    • 1
  • Qiping Dong
    • 1
  • Xin Cheng
    • 1
  • Feng Wang
    • 2
    • 4
  • Junlin Zheng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yifei Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hans Lambers
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Land and Environment, National Engineering Laboratory for Efficient Utilisation of Soil and Fertiliser Resources, Key Laboratory of Protected Horticulture of Education Ministry and Liaoning ProvinceShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.The UWA Institute of AgricultureUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Biosystems and TechnologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  6. 6.Liaoning Academy of Agricultural SciencesShenyangChina

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