Plant and Soil

, Volume 232, Issue 1–2, pp 81–90 | Cite as

A comparison of structure, development and function in cluster roots of Lupinus albus L. under phosphate and iron stress

  • J. Hagström
  • W.M. James
  • K.R. Skene


Cluster roots are adaptations for nutrient acquisition, found throughout the world in many different plant families and habitats. They arise from changes in root initiation, meristem maintenance and physiology. In Lupinus albus cluster roots form under low internal plant phosphate and low internal plant iron levels. In this study, we compare morphology, structure and physiology of cluster roots formed under –P and –Fe conditions. –Fe cluster roots had a lower density of shorter rootlets than –P roots, and were yellow in colour, probably because of increased phenolics due to down-regulation of peroxidase. Rootlet length and width was reduced in –Fe conditions. The change in exudation of citrate, over time, of –P and –Fe cluster roots shared identical temporal dynamics, with an exudative burst occurring in day 3. However, the –Fe cluster roots displayed much higher rates of exudation than the –P cluster roots. Results are discussed within the context of structural and functional control.

cluster roots Lupinus albus root exudation iron phosphate 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hagström
    • 1
  • W.M. James
    • 2
  • K.R. Skene
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Dundee, DundeeKarlstadtSweden
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundee

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