Elucidating the Mechanisms of Organic Phosphorus Use Efficiency (PoUE) in Symbiotically Grown Vicia faba L. Plants

The use of organic P (Po) is consistently proposed as a possible alternative to lessen the overdependence on chemical P fertilizers in contemporary agricultural systems. Therefore, this study seeks to comprehensively elucidate the mechanisms underlying organic phosphorus use efficiency (PoUE) in nodulating Vicia faba plants. The experiments were carried out in both soil and hydroponics to elucidate the various mechanisms facilitating organic P use efficiency (PoUE) in diverse varieties of Vicia faba plants grown symbiotically under greenhouse and climate chamber conditions with three P sources, viz., phytic acid (Po), KH2PO4 (Pi), and no-P (low KH2PO4-LPi) and inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosarum. The results indicate that plants supplied with Po and Pi produced equivalent amounts of overall dry biomass, with both varying statistically from the no-P treatment. Despite accumulating statistically similar dry biomass, P uptake by Pi-treated plants was 2-fold higher relative to Po-treated plants, highlighting the competent utilization of Po substrate by Vicia faba plants. Po-treated plants did not only exhibit similar growth traits, but also accumulated the highest Pi and malate (carbon) required for the functioning nodules to enhance N2-fixation and P homeostasis relative to the +Pi-treated plants. The results persistently show that Po-treated plants didn’t only increase phosphatases and N-assimilation enzyme activities, but also caused transcriptional upregulation of all plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase gene isoforms (VfHA 2, 4,5) in root, nodule, and leaf. The results showed a significant correlation between phosphatase activities and expression of PM H+-ATPase gene isoforms, highlighting synergistic interactions which improved Pi uptake in Po-treated plants symbiotically.The study provides insight into the mechanisms of PoUE. 


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