This article is free to access.
Background: In this study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that magnesium (Mg) remobilization in citrus plants is regulated by Mg supply and contributes to differences in the growth of the parent and branch organs. Citrus seedlings were grown in sand under Mg deficient (0 mmol Mg2+ L−1, -Mg) and Mg sufficient (2 mmol Mg2+ L−1, + Mg) conditions. The effects on biomass, Mg uptake and transport, gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence, as well as related morphological and physiological parameters were evaluated in different organs. Results: Mg deficiency significantly decreased plant biomass, with a decrease in total plant biomass of 39.6%, and a greater than twofold decrease in the branch organs compared with that of the parent organs. Reduced photosynthesis capacity was caused by a decreased in pigment levels and photosynthetic electron transport chain disruption, thus affecting non-structural carbohydrate accumulation and plant growth. However, the adaptive responses of branch leaves to Mg deficiency were greater than those in parent leaves. Mg deficiency inhibited plant Mg uptake but enhanced Mg remobilization from parent to branch organs, thus changing related growth variables and physiological parameters, including protein synthesis and antioxidant enzyme activity. Moreover, in the principal components analysis, these variations were highly clustered in both the upper and lower parent leaves, but highly separated in branch leaves under the different Mg conditions. Conclusions: Mg deficiency inhibits the growth of the parent and branch organs of citrus plants, with high Mg mobility contributing to differences in physiological metabolism. These findings suggest that Mg management should be optimized for sustainable citrus production.
Jia, Y., Xu, H., Wang, Y., Ye, X., Lai, N., Huang, Z., … Guo, J. (2021). Differences in morphological and physiological features of citrus seedlings are related to Mg transport from the parent to branch organs. BMC Plant Biology, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-03028-z