We examined the capacity of several Old-World lupin species (Lupinus luteus L., L. hispanicus Boiss. et Reuter and L. angustifolius L.) and one species of a New-World lupin (L. mutabilis Sweet) to form cluster roots under a range of conditions in solution culture. The effect of the synthetic auxin, IBA (indole-3-butyric acid), on cluster-root development in L. luteus and L. albus L. provided with an adequate phosphorus (P) supply was also investigated. In addition, the effect of a high nitrate-N (NO3-N) supply on the efflux of citrate and malate from roots of L. angustifolius was examined to determine if specific regions of the root system exuded these organic anions. When P-deficient, L. hispanicus, L. luteus and L. mutabilis formed cluster roots that secreted organic anions. Citrate was generally the dominant organic anion exuded, although succinate was also exuded in large quantities from L. luteus. Citrate efflux by L. hispanicus and L. luteus was at least comparable to that reported for P-deficient L. albus[up to 1.092 nmol g−1 fresh weight (FW) s−1], but was over an order of magnitude lower in L. mutabilis (0.036 nmol g−1 FW s−1). Citrate and malate were not detected in significant amounts from either the lateral roots or the root tips of any species grown under P-sufficient or -deficient conditions. Citrate efflux from cluster roots of L. luteus showed a diurnal pattern, similar to that reported for L. albus, with maximum efflux during the day, and declining to a minimum before dawn. IBA added to the nutrient solution induced cluster-root formation on both L. albus and L. luteus at concentrations of P that would normally suppress the production of these roots. However, the IBA-induced cluster roots did not exude significant amounts of citrate. Although L. angustifolius did not produce cluster roots when P-deficient, it produced cluster-like root structures that exuded citrate (0.053 nmol g−1 FW s−1) when grown at a high nitrate-N (NO3-N) supply. L. angustifolius did not exude significant citrate or malate from lateral roots or root tips when grown at either high or low NO3-N supply. Our findings for L. hispanicus and L. luteus are the first reports of cluster-root formation in response to P deficiency for these Old-World species, and for L. mutabilis, it is the first report of cluster roots for a New-World lupin species. These reports indicate that evolutionary and biogeographical aspects of cluster-root formation in the genus Lupinus need to be revised. Furthermore, investigation is warranted to determine the capacity of species of the large group of New-World lupins to form cluster roots in soils of their native habitats.
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