Phosphorus effects on root growth and development in two maize genotypes

Abstract

Soil phosphorus (P) availability is critical for the early growth and development of maize (Zea mays L.). Soil P also affects root morphological and physiological characteristics that are important for P uptake. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of P on seedling root growth and development of two maize genotypes differing in root system plasticity. Two maize genotypes, CM37 (high plasticity) and W153R (low plasticity), were selected based on a preliminary study. Maize plants were evaluated at six vegetative stages of development for three soil P treatments (0, 45, and 300 mg kg-1). Seedlings were grown in a controlled environment using a soil with low native P, Maddock sandy loam (sandy, mixed Udorthentic Haploborolls). The addition of P decreased the time to reach a given growth stage and increased the relative growth rate of roots to a greater degree in CM37 than in W153R. The effects of P on shoot dry weight and root surface area during the V4–V6 growth period appeared to be related to the effects of P on development and relative growth rates during the V1–V3 growth period. Evaluation of the time course of phenotypic change is an important consideration when developing adapted genotypes for specific environments.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Anghinoni I and Barber S A 1980 Phosphorus influx and growth characteristics of corn roots as influenced by P supply. Agron. J. 72, 685–688.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Barber S A 1984 Soil Nutrient Bioavailability: A Mechanistic Approach. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Barry D A J and Miller M H 1989 Phosphorus nutritional requirement of maize seedlings for maximum yield. Agron. J. 81, 95–99.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Clark R B 1983 Plant genotype differences in the uptake, translocation, accumulation, and use of mineral elements required for plant growth. Plant and Soil 72, 175–196.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Da Silva A E and Gabelman W H 1992 Screening maize inbred lines for tolerance to low-P stress condition. Plant and Soil 146, 181–187.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Dahnke W C 1988 Recommended chemical soil test procedures for the North Central Region. NCR Publication No. 221. North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Drew MC 1975 Comparison of the effects of of a localized supply of phosphate, nitrate, ammonium, and pottassium on the growth of the seminal root system, and shoot, in barley. New Phytol. 75, 479–490.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Föhse D, Claassen N and Jungk A 1991 Phosphorous efficiency of plants. II. Significance of root radius, root hairs, and cation-anion balance for phosphorous influx in seven plant species. Plant and Soil 132, 261–272.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Fox R H 1978 Selection for phosphorous efficiency in corn. Commun. Soil Science Plant Anal. 9, 13–37.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Gelderman R 1990 Soil Testing and Plant Analysis. Plant Science Pamphlet No. 25. South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Grime J P and Hunt R 1975 Relative growth-rate: Its range and adaptive significance in a local flora. J. Ecol. 63, 393–422.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hanway J J 1966 How a crop plant develops. Spec. Rep. No. 48. Iowa State University. Coop. Ext. Serv. Ames, Iowa. 17 p.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hunt R 1982 Plant Growth Curves: The Functional Approach to Plant Growth Analysis. University Park Press, Baltimore. 248 p.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Loneragen J F and Asher C J 1967 Response of plants to phosphate concentration in solution culture: II. Rate of phosphate absorption and its relation to growth. Soil Science 103, 311–318.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Nielsen N E and Barber S A 1978 Differences among genotypes of corn in the kinetics of P uptake. Agron. J. 70, 695–698.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Newman E I 1966 A method for estimating the total length of roots in a sample. J. Appl. Ecol. 3, 139–145.

    Google Scholar 

  17. O'Toole J C and Bland W L 1987 Genotypic variation in crop plant root systems. Adv. Agron. 41, 91–145.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Page A L, Miller R H and Keeney D R 1982 Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Properties. Second Edition. Agronomy 9. 1159p. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Robinson D 1989 Phenotypic plasticity in roots and root systems: constraints, compensations and compromises. Asp. Appl. Biol. 22, 49–55.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Schenk M K and Barber S A 1979 Root characteristics of corn genotypes as related to P uptake. Agron. J. 71, 921–924.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Schumacher T E, Fixen P E and Wicks III Z W 1984 The effect of temperature on the morphology of corn seminal roots. American Society of Agronomy 76th Annual Meeting, Agronomy Abstracts 76, 136.

  22. Wilkinson L 1990 SYSTAT: The System for Statistics. SYSTAT, Inc., Evanston, IL.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Zhang J and Barber S A 1992 Maize root distribution between phosphorus-fertilized and unfertilized soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 56, 819–822.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hajabbasi, M.A., Schumacher, T.E. Phosphorus effects on root growth and development in two maize genotypes. Plant Soil 158, 39–46 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00007915

Download citation

Key words

  • growth stage
  • nodal roots
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • relative growth rate
  • root surface area
  • seminal roots
  • Zea mays L.