Ammonium improves iron nutrition by decreasing leaf apoplastic pH of sunflower plants (Helianthus annuus L. cv. Frankasol)
ABSTRACT The effect of nitrogen form on pH and concentration of soluble iron (Fe) in leaf apoplast was investigated in hydrophonically
grown sunflower plants (Helianthus annuus L. cv. Frankasol), and the mechanism underlying the improved Fe nutrition by ammonium (NH4) supply was also elucidated. Ammonium supply ameliorated Fe nutrition of plants grown without Fe through decreasing apoplastic
pH and increasing soluble Fe concentration in apoplastic fluid of young leaves. The soluble Fe concentration in apoplastic
fluid and cell sap of young leaves, and xylem exudates of NH4 fed-plants was higher than that of nitrate (NO3) fed-plants, and no typical Fe-deficiency chlorosis in young leaves was observed in NH4, fed plant without Fe supply. The apoplastic pH was 6.15 and 5.94 in young leaves of Fe-deficient plants fed respectively
with NO3 and NH4, while in Fe-sufficient plants, the apoplastic pH was 6.43 with NO3, and 5.50 with NH4 supply. In primary leaves, the apoplastic pH was around 6.25 irrespective of nitrogen form and Fe supply. The pH of xylem
exudate was 5.72 in Fe-deficient plants fed with NO3 and 5.49 with NH4. Iron nutrition increased the pH of xylem exudate by 0.27 and 0.16 unit under NO3 and NH4 supply respectively.
Keywordsapoplastic pH-apoplastic soluble iron concentration-nitrogen form-iron nutrition-sunflower