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Forskningsartikel2022Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Nitrate fertilization may delay autumn leaf senescence, while amino acid treatments do not

Fataftah, Nazeer; Edlund, Erik; Lihavainen, Jenna; Bag, Pushan; Bjorken, Lars; Nasholm, Torgny; Jansson, Stefan


Fertilization with nitrogen (N)-rich compounds leads to increased growth but may compromise phenology and winter survival of trees in boreal regions. During autumn, N is remobilized from senescing leaves and stored in other parts of the tree to be used in the next growing season. However, the mechanism behind the N fertilization effect on winter survival is not well understood, and it is unclear how N levels or forms modulate autumn senescence. We performed fertilization experiments and showed that treating Populus saplings with inorganic nitrogen resulted in a delay in senescence. In addition, by using precise delivery of solutes into the xylem stream of Populus trees in their natural environment, we found that delay of autumn senescence was dependent on the form of N administered: inorganic N (NO3-) delayed senescence, but amino acids (Arg, Glu, Gln, and Leu) did not. Metabolite profiling of leaves showed that the levels of tricarboxylic acids, arginine catabolites (ammonium, ornithine), glycine, glycine-serine ratio and overall carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio were affected differently by the way of applying NO3- and Arg treatments. In addition, the onset of senescence did not coincide with soluble sugar accumulation in control trees or in any of the treatments. We propose that different regulation of C and N status through direct molecular signaling of NO3- and/or different allocation of N between tree parts depending on N forms could account for the contrasting effects of NO3- and tested here amino acids (Arg, Glu, Gln, and Leu) on autumn senescence.

Publicerad i

Physiologia Plantarum
2022, Volym: 174, nummer: 3, artikelnummer: e13690
Utgivare: WILEY