Nitric oxide is the shared signalling molecule in phosphorus- and iron-deficiency-induced formation of cluster roots in white lupin (Lupinus albus) Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Formation of cluster roots is one of the most specific root adaptations to nutrient deficiency. In white lupin (Lupinus albus), cluster roots can be induced by phosphorus (P) or iron (Fe) deficiency. The aim of the present work was to investigate the potential shared signalling pathway in P- and Fe-deficiency-induced cluster root formation. METHODS: Measurements were made of the internal concentration of nutrients, levels of nitric oxide (NO), citrate exudation and expression of some specific genes under four P × Fe combinations, namely (1) 50 µm P and 10 µm Fe (+P + Fe); (2) 0 P and 10 µm Fe (-P + Fe); (3) 50 µm P and 0 Fe (+P-Fe); and (4) 0 P and 0 Fe (-P-Fe), and these were examined in relation to the formation of cluster roots. KEY RESULTS: The deficiency of P, Fe or both increased the cluster root number and cluster zones. It also enhanced NO accumulation in pericycle cells and rootlet primordia at various stages of cluster root development. The formation of cluster roots and rootlet primordia, together with the expression of LaSCR1 and LaSCR2 which is crucial in cluster root formation, were induced by the exogenous NO donor S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) under the +P + Fe condition, but were inhibited by the NO-specific endogenous scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4, 4, 5, 5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl- 3-oxide (cPTIO) under -P + Fe, +P-Fe and -P-Fe conditions. However, cluster roots induced by an exogenous supply of the NO donor did not secrete citrate, unlike those formed under -P or -Fe conditions. CONCLUSIONS: NO plays an important role in the shared signalling pathway of the P- and Fe-deficiency-induced formation of cluster roots in white lupin.


  • Meng, Zhi Bin
  • Chen, Li Qian
  • Suo, Dong
  • Li, Gui Xin
  • Tang, Cai Xian
  • Zheng, Shao Jian

publication date

  • May 2012