This work studies the effect of bicarbonate on plant performance and the iron acquisition system of Forner-Alcaide 5 (FA-5) seedlings, a citrus genotype known for its tolerance to calcareous soils. Plants were irrigated for 6 weeks with or without 10 mM NaHCO3. Treatment significantly decreased shoot growth, photosynthetic levels and iron concentration in shoots and roots. o,o-57FeEDDHA experiments indicated that 57Fe uptake by roots was inhibited in treated plants. Moreover, those seedlings accumulated more 57Fe in roots, and enhanced mRNA accumulation of ferric reductase genes FRO1 and FRO2 and FC-R activity in roots. H+-ATPase activity and HA1 gene expression were also increased, while HA2 was not affected. In addition, expression of the iron transporter gene IRT1 was increased, while IRT2 was not significantly affected. Finally, according to PEPC enzymatic activity, PEPC1 gene expression was higher in treated roots. In conclusion, it appears that bicarbonate prevents medium acidification by roots, thus reducing Fe2+ uptake. Accordingly, Fe deficiency enhanced the expression of some genes related with the Fe acquisition system (IRT1, FRO1, FRO2, HA1 and PEPC1) and the activity of the corresponding enzymes, which appear to constitute an adaptive mechanism of FA-5 in these soils.