Phosphorus speciation in mature wheat and canola plants as affected by phosphorus supply
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Background and aims
As plants approach maturity and start to senesce, the primary sink for phosphorus (P) is the seed but it is unclear how plant P status affects the resulting P concentration and speciation in the seed and remaining plant parts of the residues. This study was established to measure how P speciation in different parts of wheat and canola is affected by plant P status.
Wheat and canola grown in the glasshouse were supplied three different P rates (5, 30 and 60 kg P ha−1 equivalent). At physiological maturity, plants were harvested and P speciation was determined for all plant parts (root, stem, leaf, chaff/pod and seed) and rates of P application, using solution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Phytate was the dominant form of P in seed whereas orthophosphate was the dominant form of P in other plant parts. The distribution of P species varied with P status for canola but not for wheat. The phytate content of wheat chaff increased from 10 to 45 % of total P as the P rate increased. Canola pods did not show a similar trend, with most P present as orthophosphate.
Although minor differences were observed in P speciation across the three P application rates and plant parts, the effect of this on P cycling from residues into soil is likely to be relatively minor in comparison to the overall contribution of these residues to soil P pools. This glasshouse experiment shows the dominant P form in crop residues that is returned to soil after harvest is orthophosphate, regardless of plant P status.
KeywordsPhosphorus Plant P status Residues Speciation Organic P Inorganic P
Diffuse gradient thin film
Sodium hydroxide ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Phosphorus buffering index
The authors thank the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) for providing funding to support this research (DAV00095) and the University of Adelaide for the James Frederick Sandoz Scholarship. We thank Waite Analytical Services for their help with elemental analysis and Yue Wu for technical assistance.
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