Plant and Soil

, Volume 248, Issue 1–2, pp 209–219

Effects of external phosphorus supply on internal phosphorus concentration and the initiation, growth and exudation of cluster roots in Hakea prostrata R.Br.

  • Michael W. Shane
  • Martin de Vos
  • Sytze de Roock
  • Gregory R. Cawthray
  • Hans Lambers


The response of internal phosphorus concentration, cluster-root initiation, and growth and carboxylate exudation to different external P supplies was investigated in Hakea prostrata R.Br. using a split-root design. After removal of most of the taproot, equal amounts of laterals were allowed to grow in two separate pots fastened together at the top, so that the separate root halves could be exposed to different conditions. Plants were grown for 10 weeks in this system; one root half was supplied with 1 μM P while the other halves were supplied with 0, 1, 25 or 75 μM P. Higher concentrations of P supplied to one root half significantly increased the P concentration of those roots and in the shoots. The P concentrations in root halves supplied with 1 μM P were invariably low, regardless of the P concentration supplied to the other root half. Cluster root initiation was completely suppressed on root halves supplied with 25 or 75 μM P, whereas it continued on the other halves supplied with 1 μM P indicating that cluster-root initiation was regulated by local root P concentration. Cluster-root growth (dry mass increment) on root halves supplied with 1 μM P was significantly reduced when the other half was either deprived of P or supplied with 25 or 75 μM P. Cluster-root growth was favoured by a low shoot P status at a root P supply that was adequate for increased growth of roots and shoots without increased tissue P concentrations. The differences in cluster-root growth on root halves with the same P supply suggest that decreased cluster-root growth was systemically regulated. Carboxylate-exudation rates from cluster roots on root halves supplied with 1 μM P were the same, whether the other root half was supplied with 1, 25 or 75 μM P, but were approximately 30 times faster when the other half was deprived of P. Estimates of root P-uptake rates suggest a rather limited capacity for down-regulating P uptake when phosphate was readily available.

carboxylate exudation cluster roots Hakea prostrata proteoid roots phosphorus Proteaceae split-root design 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael W. Shane
    • 1
  • Martin de Vos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sytze de Roock
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gregory R. Cawthray
    • 1
  • Hans Lambers
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Plant EcophysiologyUtrecht UniversityThe Netherlands

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