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Plants 2018, 7(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020028

Effects of Drought on Nutrient Uptake and the Levels of Nutrient-Uptake Proteins in Roots of Drought-Sensitive and -Tolerant Grasses

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
2
Department of Biology, Kean University, Union, NJ 07083, USA
3
United States Department of Agriculture, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
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Abstract

Climate change will increase drought in many regions of the world. Besides decreasing productivity, drought also decreases the concentration (%) of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) in plants. We investigated if decreases in nutrient status during drought are correlated with decreases in levels of nutrient-uptake proteins in roots, which has not been quantified. Drought-sensitive (Hordeum vulgare, Zea mays) and -tolerant grasses (Andropogon gerardii) were harvested at mid and late drought, when we measured biomass, plant %N and P, root N- and P-uptake rates, and concentrations of major nutrient-uptake proteins in roots (NRT1 for NO3, AMT1 for NH4, and PHT1 for P). Drought reduced %N and P, indicating that it reduced nutrient acquisition more than growth. Decreases in P uptake with drought were correlated with decreases in both concentration and activity of P-uptake proteins, but decreases in N uptake were weakly correlated with levels of N-uptake proteins. Nutrient-uptake proteins per gram root decreased despite increases per gram total protein, because of the larger decreases in total protein per gram. Thus, drought-related decreases in nutrient concentration, especially %P, were likely caused, at least partly, by decreases in the concentration of root nutrient-uptake proteins in both drought-sensitive and -tolerant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; drought; nutrient uptake; nutrient-uptake protein; roots climate change; drought; nutrient uptake; nutrient-uptake protein; roots
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Bista, D.R.; Heckathorn, S.A.; Jayawardena, D.M.; Mishra, S.; Boldt, J.K. Effects of Drought on Nutrient Uptake and the Levels of Nutrient-Uptake Proteins in Roots of Drought-Sensitive and -Tolerant Grasses. Plants 2018, 7, 28.

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