Skip to main content

Nutritional and chlorophyll fluorescence responses of lucerne (Medicago sativa) to waterlogging and subsequent recovery

Abstract

Periodic flooding of perennial crops such as lucerne (Medicago sativa,L) is a major cause of lowered productivity and leads in extreme cases to plant death. In this study, effects of waterlogging and subsequent recovery on plant nutrient composition and PSII photochemistry were studied to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of recovery as they relate to leaf photochemistry (chlorophyll fluorescence) and nutrient dynamics. Three lucerne cultivars and one breeding line were flooded for 20 d, drained and left to recover for another 16 d under glasshouse conditions. Leaf and root nutrient composition (P, K, Ca, Mg, B, Cu and Zn) of waterlogged lucerne was significantly lower than in freely drained controls, leaf N concentrations were also significantly lower in waterlogged lucerne. At the same time, there were significantly (5-fold) higher concentrations of Fe in waterlogged roots and Na in leaves (2-fold) of stressed plants. PS II photochemistry, which was impaired due to waterlogging, recovered almost fully after 16 d of free drainage in all genotypes. Alongside fluorescence recovery, concentrations of several nutrients also increased in recovered plants. Growth parameters, however, remained suppressed after draining. The latter was due to both the smaller capacity of CO2 assimilation in previously waterlogged plants (caused in part by nutrient deficiency and associated inhibition of PSII) and the plant’s need to re-direct available nutrient and assimilate pools to repair the damage to the photosynthetic apparatus and roots. It is concluded, that for any lucerne-breeding program it is important to determine not only the degree of tolerance to waterlogging but also the potential for recovery of different genotypes, as well as look for ‘outstanding individuals’ within each population.

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

Abbreviations

Ci:

substomatal cavity CO2 concentration

ETR:

electron transport rate

Fo:

minimal fluorescence

Fm:

maximal fluorescence

Fv:

variable fluorescence

NPQ:

non-photochemical quenching

qP:

photochemical quenching

qN:

non-photochemical quenching

PAM:

pulse amplitude modulation

WL:

waterlogging

SDW:

shoot dry weight.

RDW:

root dry weight.

References

  • S Ahmed E Nawata T Sakuratani (2002) ArticleTitleEffects of waterlogging at vegetative and reproductive growth stages on photosynthesis, leaf water potential and yield in mungbean Plant Prod. Sci. 5 117–123

    Google Scholar 

  • J L Araus T Amaro J Voltas H Nakkoul M M Nachit (1998) ArticleTitleChlorophyll fluorescence as a selection criterion for grain yield in durum wheat under Mediterranean conditions Field Crop Res. 55 209–223 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0378-4290(97)00079-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • W Armstrong M C Drew (2002) Root growth and metabolism under oxygen deficiency Y Waisel A Eshel U Kafkafi (Eds) Plant Roots: the Hidden Half Marcel Dekker New York 729–761

    Google Scholar 

  • B J Atwell B T Steer (1990) ArticleTitleThe effect of oxygen deficiency on uptake and distribution of nutrients in maize plants Plant Soil 122 1–8 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK3cXhvFOis7k%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • E G Barrett-Lennard P v Ratingen M H Mathie (1999) ArticleTitleThe developing pattern of damage in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) due to the combined stresses of salinity and hypoxia: experiments under controlled conditions suggest a methodology for plant selection Aust. J. Agr. Res. 50 129–136

    Google Scholar 

  • E G Barrett-Lennard P D Leighton F Buwalda J Gibbs W Armstrong C J Thomson H Greenway (1988) ArticleTitleEffects of growing wheat in hypoxic nutrient solutions and of subsequent transfer to aerated solutions I. Growth and carbohydrate status of shoots and roots Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 15 585–598 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaL1MXhtlCht7o%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • F H G Boem R S Lavado C A Porcelli (1996) ArticleTitleNote on the effects of winter and spring waterlogging on growth, chemical composition and yield of rapeseed Field Crops Res. 47 175–179 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0378-4290(96)00025-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D Brauer J E Leggett D B Egli (1987) ArticleTitleChanges in K, Rb and Na transport to shoots after anoxia Plant Physiol. 83 219–224 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaL2sXhtlGgt7c%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • I C H Cakmak HM (1994a) ArticleTitleChanges in phloem export of sucrose in leaves in response to phosphorus, potassium and magnesium deficiency in bean plants J. Exp. Bot. 278 1251–1257

    Google Scholar 

  • Y Castonguay P Nadeau R R Simard (1993) ArticleTitleEffects of flooding on carbohydrate and ABA levels in roots and shoots of alfalfa Plant Cell Environ. 16 695–702 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXht12rtr8%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • M Colin-Belgrand E Dreyer P Biron (1991) ArticleTitleSensitivity of seedlings from different oak species to waterlogging: effects on root growth and mineral nutrition Ann. Sci. Forest. 48 193–204

    Google Scholar 

  • A L Cowie R S Jessop D A MacLeod (1996) ArticleTitleEffects of waterlogging on chickpeas. II. Possible causes of decreased tolerance of waterlogging at flowering Plant Soil 183 105–115 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK28Xnt1aktb0%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • C L Davies D W Turner M Dracup (2000a) ArticleTitleYellow lupin (Lupinus luteus) tolerates waterlogging better than narrow-leafed lupin (L. angustifolius) II. Leaf gas exchange, plant water status, and nitrogen accumulation Aust. J. Agr. Res. 51 711–719 Occurrence Handle10.1071/AR99074

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • C L Davies D W Turner M Dracup (2000b) ArticleTitleYellow lupin (Lupinus luteus) tolerates waterlogging better than narrow-leafed lupin (L.angustifolius) – I. Shoot and root growth in a controlled environment Aust. J. Agr. Res. 51 701–709 Occurrence Handle10.1071/AR99073

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • B S Dear G A Moore S J Hughes (2003) ArticleTitleAdaptation and potential contribution of temperate perennial legumes to the southern Australian wheatbelt: A review Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 43 1–18 Occurrence Handle10.1071/EA02141

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • M C Drew (1983) ArticleTitlePlant injury and adaptation to oxygen deficiency in the root environment: a review Plant Soil 75 179–199 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaL2cXosVKjuw%3D%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • M C Drew (1990) ArticleTitleSensing soil oxygen Plant Cell Environ. 13 681–693 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK3MXnvVGlsA%3D%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • J Gibbs H Greenway (2003) ArticleTitleMechanisms of anoxia tolerance in plants. I. Growth, survival and anaerobic catabolism Funct. Plant Biol. 30 1–47 Occurrence Handle10.1071/PP98095_ER Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXitVCjtLc%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • D Godde (1999) Adaptations of the photosynthetic apparatus in stress conditions H R Lerner (Eds) Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses: from Phytohormones to Genome Reorganization Marcel Dekker Inc New York 449–474

    Google Scholar 

  • P Haldimann R J Strasser (1999) ArticleTitleEffects of anaerobiosis as probed by the polyphasic chlorophyll a fluorescence rise kinetic in pea (Pisum sativum L.) Photosynth. Res. 62 67–83 Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1006321126009 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXntlCitw%3D%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • B R Huang D S Nesmith D C Bridges J W Johnson (1995) ArticleTitleResponses of squash to salinity, waterlogging, and subsequent drainage I. Gas-Exchange, water relations, and nitrogen status J Plant Nutr. 18 127–140 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXjsV2gtbY%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • A W Humphries G C Auricht (2001) ArticleTitleBreeding lucerne for Australia’s southern dryland cropping environments Aust. J. Agr. Res. 52 153–169 Occurrence Handle10.1071/AR99171

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • J B Jones (1998) Plant nutrition manual CRC Press Boca Raton. x 149

    Google Scholar 

  • E A Kington D J Pannell (2003) ArticleTitleDryland salinity in the Upper Kent River catchment of Western Australia: farmer perceptions and practices Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 43 19–28 Occurrence Handle10.1071/EA01058

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • T T Kozlowski (1984) Flooding and plant growth Academic Press Orlando, Fla. xiv 356

    Google Scholar 

  • W Laing D Greer O Sun P Beets A Lowe T Payn (2000) ArticleTitlePhysiological impacts of Mg deficiency in Pinus radiata: growth and photosynthesis New Phytol. 146 47–57 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1469-8137.2000.00616.x Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXjtF2gur8%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • H Lambers F S Chapin T L Pons (1998) Plant Physiological Ecology Springer New York 540

    Google Scholar 

  • R A Latta P S Cocks C Matthews (2002) ArticleTitleLucerne pastures to sustain agricultural production in southwestern Australia Agr. Water Manage. 53 99–109 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0378-3774(01)00158-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • M J Lauer S G Pallardy D G Blevins D D Randall (1989a) ArticleTitleWhole leaf carbon exchange characteristics of phosphate deficient soybeans (Glycine max L.) Plant Physiol. 91 848–854 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK3cXlsVehtA%3D%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • D W Lawlor G Cornic (2002) ArticleTitlePhotosynthetic carbon assimilation and associated metabolism in relation to water deficits in higher plants Plant Cell Environ. 25 275–294 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.0016-8025.2001.00814.x Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38Xhslakur0%3D Occurrence Handle11841670

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lichtenthaler H K 1988 In vivo chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool for stress detection in plants. In Applications of Chlorophyll Fluorescence. Ed. H K Lichtenthaler. pp. 129–142. Kluwer Academic Publishers

  • J I Lizaso L M Melendez R Ramirez (2001) ArticleTitleEarly flooding of two cultivars of tropical maize. II. Nutritional responses J. Plant Nutr. 24 997–1101 Occurrence Handle10.1081/PLN-100103799 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXltlOqu78%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • F J M Maathuis A Amtmann (1999) ArticleTitleK+ nutrition and Na+ toxicity: The basis of cellular K+/Na+ ratios Ann. Bot. 84 123–133 Occurrence Handle10.1006/anbo.1999.0912 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXltVCgtL4%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • R J MacEwan W K Gardner A Ellington D G Hopkins A C Bakker (1992) ArticleTitleTile and mole drainage for control and waterlogging in duplex soils of south-eastern Australia Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 32 865–878 Occurrence Handle10.1071/EA9920865

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D J MacFarlane J W Cox (1992) ArticleTitleManagement of excess water in duplex soils Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 32 857–864 Occurrence Handle10.1071/EA9920857

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • A I Malik T D Colmer H Lambers M Schortemeyer (2001) ArticleTitleChanges in physiological and morphological traits of roots and shoots of wheat in response to different depths of waterlogging Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 28 1121–1131

    Google Scholar 

  • A I Malik T D Colmer H Lambers T L Setter M Schortemeyer (2002) ArticleTitleShort-term waterlogging has long-term effects on the growth and physiology of wheat New Phytol. 153 225–236 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.0028-646X.2001.00318.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • H Marschner (1995) Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants Academic Press San Diego 889

    Google Scholar 

  • K Maxwell G N Johnson (2000) ArticleTitleChlorophyll fluorescence – a practical guide J. Exp. Bot. 51 659–668 Occurrence Handle10.1093/jexbot/51.345.659 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXjtF2js74%3D Occurrence Handle10938857

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • B D McSwain H Y Tsujimoto D I Arnon (1976) ArticleTitleEffects of magnesium and chloride ions on light-induced electron transport in membrane fragments from a blue-green alga Biochim. Biophys. Acta 423 313–322 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaE28Xhtlartr4%3D Occurrence Handle813781

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • R K Misra (1994) ArticleTitleAssessment of errors in nutrient analyses of roots J. Aust. Soil Res. 32 1275–1286 Occurrence Handle10.1071/SR9941275

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • G H Mohammed W D Binder S L Gillies (1995) ArticleTitleChlorophyll fluorescence: A review of its practical forestry applications and instrumentation Scand. J. For. Res. 10 383–410

    Google Scholar 

  • J R Pardales Y Kono A Yamauchi (1991) ArticleTitleResponse of the different root-system components of sorghum to incidence of waterlogging Environ. Exp. Bot. 31 107–115 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0098-8472(91)90013-E

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • F N Ponnamperuma (1972) ArticleTitleThe chemistry of submerged soils Adv. Agron. 24 29–96 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaE2cXhtVOju7c%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • I I Pottosin G Schonknecht (1996) ArticleTitleIon channel permeable for divalent and monovalent cations in native spinach thylakoid membranes J. Membr. Biol. 152 223–233 Occurrence Handle10.1007/s002329900100 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK28XltVaktrc%3D Occurrence Handle8672080

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • D J Reuter J B D Robinson (1997) Plant analysis: An interpretation manual CSIRO Publishing Collingwood Vic. 572

    Google Scholar 

  • V E Rogers (1967) Adaptability of lucerne to soil and climate R H M Langer (Eds) The Lucerne Crop Reed Sydney 36–46

    Google Scholar 

  • F B Salisbury C W Ross (1992) Plant Physiology Wadsworth Publishing Company Belmont, California 682

    Google Scholar 

  • U Schreiber W Bilger C Neubauer (1994) Chlorophyll fluorescence as a nonintrusive indicator for rapid assessment of in vivo photosynthesis E D Schulze M M Caldwell (Eds) Ecology of photosynthesis Springer Verlag Berlin 49–70

    Google Scholar 

  • T L Setter I Waters (2003) ArticleTitleReview of prospects for germplasm improvement for waterlogging tolerance in wheat, barley and oats Plant Soil 253 1–34 Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1024573305997 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXltVemsb4%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • C F Smethurst S Shabala (2003) ArticleTitleScreening methods for waterlogging tolerance in lucerne: Comparative analysis of waterlogging effects on chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthesis, biomass and chlorophyll content Funct. Plant Biol. 30 335–343

    Google Scholar 

  • P A Stieger U Feller (1994) ArticleTitleNutrient accumulation and translocation in maturing wheat plants grown on waterlogged soil Plant Soil 160 87–95 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF00150349 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXivFOnur4%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tarekegne A, Bennie A T P, Labuschagne M T 2000 Effects of soil waterlogging on the concentration and uptake of selected nutrients in wheat genotypes differing in tolerance. In The eleventh regional wheat workshop for eastern, central and southern Africa, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, 2000. pp. 253–263

  • C D Teutsch R M Sulc (1997) ArticleTitleInfluence of seedling growth stage on flooding injury in alfalfa Agron. J. 89 970–975

    Google Scholar 

  • M C T Trought M C Drew (1980) ArticleTitleThe development of waterlogging damage in young wheat plants in anaerobic solution cultures J. Exp. Bot. 31 1573–1585 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaL3MXhtlKgt7o%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • M C T Trought M C Drew (1980a) ArticleTitleThe development of waterlogging damage in wheat seedlings (Triticum aestivum L.). I. Shoot and root growth in relation to changes in the concentration of dissolved gases and solutes in the soil solution Plant Soil 54 77–94 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaL3cXhs1artLk%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • M C T Trought M C Drew (1980b) ArticleTitleThe development of waterlogging damage in wheat seedlings (Triticum aestivum L.) II. Accumulation and redistribution of nutrients by the shoot Plant Soil 56 187–199 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaL3cXmtF2ktb4%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • P A Wagner E Dreyer (1997) ArticleTitleInteractive effects of waterlogging and irradiance on the photosynthetic performance of seedlings from three oak species displaying different sensitivities (Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Q. rubra) Ann. Sci. Forest. 54 409–429

    Google Scholar 

  • J A Webb R A Fletcher (1996) ArticleTitlePaclobutrazol protects wheat seedlings from injury due to waterlogging Plant Growth Regul. 18 201–206 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF00024383 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK28XisFaktbo%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • B A Zarcinis B Cartwright L R Spouncer (1987) ArticleTitleNitric acid digestion and multi-element analysis of plant material by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry Commun. Soil Sci. Plant. Anal. 18 131–146

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sergey Shabala.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Smethurst, C.F., Garnett, T. & Shabala, S. Nutritional and chlorophyll fluorescence responses of lucerne (Medicago sativa) to waterlogging and subsequent recovery. Plant Soil 270, 31–45 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-004-1082-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-004-1082-x

Keywords

  • alfalfa
  • chlorophyll fluorescence
  • lucerne
  • nutrient
  • recovery
  • waterlogging