Phosphorus (P) is essential for plants because it is part of molecules inherent in all organisms, acting in several metabolic and physiological processes. Adequate plant development is, therefore, dependent on P availability, which plants absorb from the soil. Soil P availability is often low in many regions of the world, limiting crop production. Eucalypts comprise an important forest group that possess a large number of species with different efficiencies and responses to P availability in the soil. This project has as main objective to evaluate the profile of organic acids and flavonoids in the root exudates of seedlings of ten eucalypt species in response to the low soil P availability. Under these conditions the exudation of organic anions, such as carboxylic acids or flavonoids (phenolic compounds) in the rhizosphere can increase the availability of P, stimulating the desorption of the P fixation sites in the soil. This is, however, a strategy that has a high metabolic cost for the plant. Thus, the ability of plants to exude this type of compounds can be related to the efficiency of the plant to absorb P and get insights about the different strategies adopted by eucalypt species under P limitation. This Scientific Initiation project was proposed within the scope of the Thematic Project Fapesp-2016 / 25498-0, which aims to select species that are able to respond to the sufficiency of P, but that are different in their ability to acquire P from the soil when under low P conditions and study the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: