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Plants 2016, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/plants5020020

Patterns of Growth Costs and Nitrogen Acquisition in Cytisus striatus (Hill) Rothm. and Cytisus balansae (Boiss.) Ball are Mediated by Sources of Inorganic N

1
Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems, University Pablo de Olavide, Carretera de Utrera Km, Seville 141013, Spain
2
Botany and Zoology Department, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maurizio Chiurazzi
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 4 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nitrogen Metabolism)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [884 KB, uploaded 16 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Nitrogen-fixing shrubby legumes in the Mediterranean area partly overcome nutrient limitations by making use of soil N and atmospheric N2 sources. Their ability to switch between different sources lets them adjust to the carbon costs pertaining to N acquisition throughout the year. We investigated the utilization of different inorganic N sources by Cytisus balansae and Cytisus striatus, shrubby legumes under low and a sufficient (5 and 500 µM P, respectively) levels of P. Plants grew in sterile sand, supplied with N-free nutrient solution and inoculated with effective Bradyrhizobium strains; other treatments consisted of plants treated with (i) 500 µM NH4NO3; and (ii) 500 µM NH4NO3 and inoculation with effective rhizobial strains. The application of NH4NO3 always resulted in greater dry biomass production. Carbon construction costs were higher in plants that were supplied with mineral and symbiotic N sources and always greater in the endemic C. striatus. Photosynthetic rates were similar in plants treated with different sources of N although differences were observed between the two species. Non-fertilized inoculated plants showed a neat dependence on N2 fixation and had more effective root nodules. Results accounted for the distribution of the two species with regards to their ability to use different N sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: legume; N2 fixation; mineral N; C construction costs legume; N2 fixation; mineral N; C construction costs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pérez-Fernández, M.; Calvo-Magro, E.; Ramírez-Rojas, I.; Moreno-Gallardo, L.; Alexander, V. Patterns of Growth Costs and Nitrogen Acquisition in Cytisus striatus (Hill) Rothm. and Cytisus balansae (Boiss.) Ball are Mediated by Sources of Inorganic N. Plants 2016, 5, 20.

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