Mineral Nutrition of Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)

Journal of Experimental Botany (Impact Factor: 5.53). 06/2013; 37:1274-1284. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/37.9.1274
Source: OAI


Acacia acuminata is a preferred host of the root hemiparasitic tree, Santalum spicatum (sandalwood). Comparison between nutrient content of adult trees of sandalwood and results for an earlier study of the mistletoe, Amyema preissii , on the same host species, A. acuminata , showed similar high levels of K and Na and low levels of Zn in both parasites compared with the host plants. Differences in K, Ca, N and Cu levels between parasitized and uninfected Acacias imply that the host plant contributes to the nutrition of sandalwood. The high K/Ca ratio in sandalwood confirms that K uptake in preference to Ca is a general feature of all categories of angiosperm parasites. Patterns of distribution of nutrients between various parts of sandalwood and A. acuminata depend on the type of nutrient, but levels are usually highest in leaves of both species and the haustoria. Although K, Ca and Na are much lower in the kernels than in vegetative parts of the parasite, only seedlings without supplementary Ca in a nutrient omission experiment failed to grow at all in the absence of hosts. Growth is not dependent on the level of K in the unattached plants but other evidence indicates it may have a role in water uptake in the attached plant. Calcium supply has a marked effect on internal Ca levels and growth of unattached plants. Compared with field plants, levels of Ca, and to a lesser extent Zn, were much higher in plants of the Ca/K treatment that produced greatest growth over 34 weeks. Haustorial formation is enhanced by the presence of A. acuminata roots. However, competition for nutrients, especially Ca, from co-planted A. acuminata seedlings results in suppression of growth of young sandalwood compared with their growth in the absence of the host species.

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Available from: Byron B. Lamont, Sep 19, 2014
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    • "Research results from New Caledonia, on the other hand, suggest that S. austrocaledonicum seedlings are able to survive for only a short time without a host; otherwise, they soon turn chlorotic and die (Douheret 1981). Evidence shows that sandalwood obtains nitrogen, phosphorous , and basic amino acids from its hosts, and calcium and potassium from the soil (Iyengar 1960, Sen-Sarma 1975, Struthers and others 1986, Angadi and others 1988). In concurrence with this, it is interesting to note that many of the species parasitized by sandalwood are nitrogen-fixing. "
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    ABSTRACT: 2 Abstract: Interest in sandalwood has increased recently in Nepal as a result of a royal directive to plant it in the Eastern Development Region. The most suitable seed sources, seed acquisition, nursery techniques, direct sowing and plantation establishment methods are discussed here on the basis of results from elsewhere. Suggestions are made as to what research is most needed to assist with successful establishment of sandalwood in Nepal. The silvicultural methods discussed could well be of use to other countries that are interested in introducing and establishing sandalwood plantations. This paper is related to one that was recently published in Banko Janakari, a forestry journal in Nepal (Neil 1990). It summarizes knowledge on the propagation and silviculture of sandalwood so that it can be successfully established in the kingdom. It also summarizes research results from elsewhere so that any new research will not repeat completed work or con- tinue to investigate methods that have already been proved unsuccessful. The need for research into the establishment of sandalwood in Nepal has arisen because of the interest that His Majesty the King has shown in the species, which has led to a royal directive to plant it in the Eastern Development Region. The methods discussed and recommended for adoption in Nepal may well prove useful for other countries that wish to establish sandalwood plantations. This could apply particularly to countries that are interested in introducing the species, or that would like to plant their indigenous sandalwood species but are unsure of how to go about it. SANDALWOOD The genus Santalum belongs to the family Santalaceae, which comprises herbs, shrubs, and small trees. It has long been a source of sandalwood, a fragrant wood prized for its use in producing ornaments, cabinets, and chests; incense for religious rites; and oil for perfume and medicines. Santalum album is the best known commercial species. It is found in southern India (but may have originally been introduced from Java, Indonesia), especially in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, and also in Sri Lanka and other parts of south-eastern Asia (Brandis 1978). Various descriptions of it occur in Hindu mythology. Powdered wood in the form of a paste, with added pigments, is used in caste distinguishing marks (Drury 1985).
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    ABSTRACT: Water relations of the root hemiparasite Olax phyllanthi were compared with those of its major species of hosts in natural habitat in coastal heath near Denmark, SW Australia. Leaf water potentials of Olax during winter were 0.4 to 1.4 MPa lower (more negative) than those of all (29) non parasitic host species examined. During the dry summer months (January to March), shallow-rooted hosts developed water potentials up to 3 MPa lower than those of Olax, and were accordingly rated as no longer accessible as a source of water to the hemiparasite. By contrast, deep-rooted hosts, with access to the water table, showed water potentials less negative than Olax, and haustorial contacts retained with these apparently enabled continued extraction of water and nutrients throughout the summer. Three other species of root hemiparasites parasitized by Olax, but not themselves parasitizing Olax, showed leaf water potentials throughout the year very close to, and mostly slightly more negative than those of Olax. Nocturnal measurements of leaf water potential in winter (July and August) in soil at field capacity (water potential –0.006 MPa) showed maintenance of a 0.5–0.8 MPa potential difference between Olax and a range of common host species. By dawn most hosts had equilibrated with the water potential of the soil, whereas both exposed and bagged Olax plants recorded potentials of –0.8 MPa. Daytime rates of transpiration and photosynthesis of Olax were less than those of a range of common hosts, but water use efficiencies were not consistently different between hemiparasite and hosts. This was reflected in almost identical mean values for carbon isotope ratio (13C/12C) between Olax (mean value –27.0) and thirteen frequently exploited hosts ( value –27.1). The results are discussed in relation to published information on other angiosperm hemiparasites.
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