Plant and Soil

, Volume 196, Issue 2, pp 265–270 | Cite as

The role of cell wall components from groundnut roots in solubilizing sparingly soluble phosphorus in low fertility soils

  • Noriharu Ae
  • Takashi Otani


Groundnuts have a superior ability to take up P from soils with low P fertility compared to sorghum and soybean. Previous experiments showed that this ability was neither attributable to better root development nor to root exudates capable of solubilizing Fe- and Al-bound P, the sparingly soluble P forms in soils. Direct "contact reactions" between cell wall components from these 3 plant species (groundnut, soybean and sorghum) and P-fixing Fe and Al minerals were examined. Cell wall preparations from groundnut roots showed a superior P solubilizing ability than those of soybean and sorghum. Cell wall activity of groundnut roots may thus at least partly explain the superior growth of this crop under P-deficient conditions. To characterize the active site responsible for P solubilization, effects of pH, heat, addition of cations, and digestion with enzymes (pectinase and cellulase) or HCl on P solubilization were investigated. Conclusion are 1) Solubilizing ability is not related to root CEC because soybean with higher root CEC showed an inferior solubilizing ability compared to groundnut. 2) The reaction site of cell-walls of groundnut roots is stable against heating and digestion with cellulase and pectinase. 3) Solubilizing ability was severely reduced by digestion with HCl. 4) Pre-treating cell walls with either Al3+, Fe3+, or Ga3+ decreased solubilizing ability but cations with lower valency such as Na+, K+, Ca2+ or Mg2+ had no effect. Soaking roots of groundnuts grown in solution culture in 0.5 M NaOH for 30 seconds prior to cell wall preparation led to a 30% reduction in solubilization of P from FePO4 without permanently damaging plants. This suggests that 5) the active component of the cell walls was located on the root epidermal cell surfaces. Based on these results a phosphorus solubilizing mechanism is proposed.

cell wall groundnut phosphorus root surface sorghum soybean 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noriharu Ae
    • 1
  • Takashi Otani
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Soil ScienceNational Institute of Agro-Environmental SciencesKannondai, Tsukuba, IbarakiJapan

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