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Phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in coffee and soybean plants: a physiological and molecular approach to the interaction of nutrients

Abstract

Plant development and growth demand several nutrients, as phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg). However, deficiency of these nutrients reduces photosynthesis, protein synthesis, carbohydrate partitioning that directly affect growth and yield. Studies have already found clues to the molecular mechanisms of isolated nutrient deficiencies, but the relationship between P, K and Mg interactions is still poorly understood in plants, especially in coffee and soybean crops. This highlights the importance of this project to move forward the knowledge of plant nutrition nutrient interactions. This insight is important because in response to a nutrient deficiency, plants can indirectly increase the uptake of another nutrient by increasing the expression of non-specific transporters in order to increase the uptake of the limiting nutrient. In preliminary studies we observed a synergistic effect of Mg in solution for P uptake, however, the mechanisms of uptake and regulation of these processes were not detailed. Based on these information, this project will test the following hypotheses: (i) There is a systemic regulation in the uptake of these nutrients in the root system of coffee and soybean crops due to the synergy of P, K and Mg in several physiological processes; and (ii) In a soil where root system is splitted part in a nutrient balance soil and another root portion explore a nutrient imbalance soil, carbohydrate flow is directed to root system that explore nutrient balance soil. Thus, the efforts in this project are to expand the knowledge of the interaction of these nutrients in these plants to guide the development of new high efficiency fertilizer formulations, maximize fertilization strategies and increase the nutritional efficiency and productivity of these crops. (AU)

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