Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Short-term interactions between nitrate and iron nutrition in cucumber

Miroslav Nikolic A E , Stefano Cesco B , Volker Römheld C , Zeno Varanini D and Roberto Pinton B
+ Author Affliations
- Author Affliations

A Center for Multidisciplinary Studies of the Belgrade University, Serbia.

B Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of Udine, Italy.

C Institute of Plant Nutrition (330), University of Hohenheim, Germany.

D Department of Sciences, Technologies and Marketing of Grapevine and Wine, University of Verona, Italy.

E Corresponding author. Email: mnikolic@cms.bg.ac.yu

Functional Plant Biology 34(5) 402-408 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP07022
Submitted: 30 January 2007  Accepted: 15 March 2007   Published: 17 May 2007

Abstract

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants were precultured for 7 days in either optimal (10 µm) or low (0.5 µm) Fe conditions and then grown for further 5 days in a N-free nutrient solution with (+Fe) or without (–Fe) 10 µm Fe. Thereafter NO3 (4 mm) was added to the nutrient solution for 24 h and, concomitantly, half of the –Fe plants were treated with 1 µm Fe complexed to water extractable humic substances (WEHS). Supply of NO3 to +Fe–N-deprived plants caused a large induction in the capacity to take up the anion by roots, which was accompanied by a rise in root–shoot NO3 concentration. The –Fe plants showed a lower level of induction of NO3 uptake and hence a lower accumulation of the anion in the tissues, these effects being reversed by supply of Fe-WEHS. Supply of either NO3- or NH4+-N (+/– Fe-WEHS) to –Fe plants promoted the development of the root FeIII-chelate reductase activity, but the capacity of roots to take up the Fe2+ remained unaffected. Results show that an inadequate Fe supply can limit the acquisition of NO3, whereas NO3 supply can affect Fe uptake by influencing the development and maintenance of a high FeIII-chelate reducing capacity.

Additional keywords: Cucumis sativus L., Fe deficiency, ferric chelate reductase, humates, uptake.


Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grant from M.I.U.R. The first author wishes to thank M.I.U.R. for a research fellowship, allowing him to visit Udine, and the Serbian Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection (grant no. 143020B). We thank Ernest A. Kirkby (University of Leeds, UK) for critical reading of the manuscript and improving the English.


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