Genetic Variation in Root Traits and Nutrient Acquisition of Lentil Genotypes uri icon

abstract

  • Lentil (Lens culinaris L.), a pulse crop, is grown in nutrient-poor soils in many developing countries, often with little or no fertilization. Knowledge on root traits of lentil and the assessment of their role in nutrient capture would help to sustain its production in these nutrient-poor soils. Root traits ( root length, root hairs, root-induced acidification, and phosphatase enzymes) of 10 lentil genotypes (Barimasur-3, Barimasur-4, PLX-79542, GP-8407-5, GP-8403, BLX-79542, L-5 x 8704(2), L-107 x 87012, L-5 x 87272 and 8406-122) were investigated and then related to the plant uptake of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulphur (S), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), and cobalt (Co) in laboratory and pot experiments. There were significant (p < 0.05) differences in root length (RL) and root-hair density (number mm(-1) root) among the genotypes. The genotypes did not differ to induce rhizosphere acidification and acid phosphatase activity (aptase). Uptake of most nutrients differed significantly (p < 0.05) among the genotypes, but root length ( RL) was, in general, weakly correlated to the uptake of the most nutrients in the shoot dry matter (DM). The genotypes with prolific root-hair formation (Barimasur-4 and Barimasur-3) were particularly superior in uptake of those nutrients (K, P, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo) whose availability in soils is usually low and whose transport to the roots is diffusion limited. The results of this investigation, though based on a small sample of lentil accessions/cultivars, suggest that genetic variation in lentil root traits and nutrient uptake can be pronounced. Screening of a large number of local and exotic cultivars or lines of lentil should be conducted by including more root traits (N-2 fixation, organic acids, mycorrhizae) to find nutrient-efficient germplasm to promote lentil production.

publication date

  • 2006
  • 2006