Effect of potassium starvation on the uptake of radiocaesium by spring wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Tonic)

Y. G. Zhu*, G. Shaw, Anne Nisbet, B. T. Wilkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Short term experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of internal tissue potassium concentration on the uptake of radiocaesium by spring wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Tonic). The results showed that potassium starvation increased Cs influx rates by a factor of 10 compared with non-starved plants. Solution to plant tissue transfer factor (TF) values also increased by around an order of magnitude after potassium starvation treatment. The enhancement of Cs influx rates by potassium starvation could be offset by an increase in external potassium concentration: this effect is minimal at external potassium concentrations greater than approximately 200 μM (8 mg L-1). This reveals that Cs influx into plant roots is subject to control by both internal and external potassium status. The kinetics of Cs uptake by potassium in starved and non-starved plants can be described adequately by the Michaelis-Menten equation. It was shown that potassium starvation substantially reduces the K(m) value from approximately 28 to 6 μM, which suggests that starvation treatment increases significantly the affinity of plant roots for Cs+. Mechanisms involved in K-Cs interactions during plant uptake are discussed in this paper. Finally, the relevance of such mechanisms as determinants of radiocaesium uptake by plants growing under different ecological conditions is emphasised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume220
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Plant uptake
  • Potassium
  • Potassium starvation
  • Radiocaesium
  • Triticum aestivum

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