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Plant Physiol. Apr 1989; 89(4): 1331–1336.
PMCID: PMC1056017

31P-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Determination of Phosphate Compartmentation in Leaves of Reproductive Soybeans (Glycine max L.) as Affected by Phosphate Nutrition 1


Most leaf phosphorus is remobilized to the seed during reproductive development in soybean. We determined, using 31P-NMR, the effect phosphorus remobilization has on vacuolar inorganic phosphate pool size in soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) leaves with respect to phosphorus nutrition and plant development. Phosphate compartmentation between cytoplasmic and vacuolar pools was observed and followed in intact tissue grown hydroponically, at the R2, R4, and R6 growth stages. As phosphorus in the nutrient solution decreased from 0.45 to 0.05 millimolar, the vacuolar phosphate peak became less prominent relative to cytoplasmic phosphate and hexose monophosphate peaks. At a nutrient phosphate concentration of 0.05 millimolar, the vacuolar phosphate peak was not detectable. At higher levels of nutrient phosphate, as plants progressed from the R2 to the R6 growth stage, the vacuolar phosphate peak was the first to disappear, suggesting that storage phosphate was remobilized to a greater extent than metabolic phosphate. Under suboptimal phosphate nutrition (≤ 0.20 millimolar), the hexose monophosphate and cytoplasmic phosphate peaks declined earlier in reproductive development than when phosphate was present in optimal amounts. Under low phosphate concentrations (0.05 millimolar) cytoplasmic phosphate was greatly reduced. Carbon metabolism was coincidently disrupted under low phosphate nutrition as shown by the appearance of large, prominent starch grains in the leaves. Cytoplasmic phosphate, and leaf carbon metabolism dependent on it, are buffered by vacuolar phosphate until late stages of reproductive growth.

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Selected References

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