Both free indole-3-acetic acid and photosynthetic performance are important players in the response of medicago truncatula to urea and ammonium nutrition under axenic conditions
Keywords: 
OJIP curve
Ammonium
Auxin
Nitrate
Root system architecture
Urea
Issue Date: 
2016
ISSN: 
1664-462X
Note: 
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons: Atribution License (cc BY)
Citation: 
Esteban , R. (R); Royo , B. (B); Urarte, E; et al. "Both free indole-3-acetic acid and photosynthetic performance are important players in the response of medicago truncatula to urea and ammonium nutrition under axenic conditions". Frontiers In Plant Science. 7, 2016, 140
Abstract
We aimed to identify the early stress response and plant performance of Medicago truncatula growing in axenic medium with ammonium or urea as the sole source of nitrogen, with respect to nitrate-based nutrition. Biomass measurements, auxin content analyses, root system architecture (RSA) response analyses, and physiological parameters were determined. Both ammonium and ureic nutrition severely affected the RSA, resulting in changes in the main elongation rate, lateral root development, and insert position from the root base. The auxin content decreased in both urea- and ammonium-treated roots; however, only the ammonium-treated plants were affected at the shoot level. The analysis of chlorophyll a fluorescence transients showed that ammonium affected photosystem II, but urea did not impair photosynthetic activity. Superoxide dismutase isoenzymes in the plastids were moderately affected by urea and ammonium in the roots. Overall, our results showed that low N doses from different sources had no remarkable effects on M. truncatula, with the exception of the differential phenotypic root response. High doses of both ammonium and urea caused great changes in plant length, auxin contents and physiological measurements. Interesting correlations were found between the shoot auxin pool and both plant length and the "performance index" parameter, which is obtained from measurements of the kinetics of chlorophyll a fluorescence.

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