Phosphate nutrition effects on growth, phosphate transporter transcript levels and physiology of alfalfa cells

S. F. Abu Qamar, T. G. Sors, S. M. Cunningham, B. C. Joern, J. J. Volenec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus deficiency reduces forage yield and stand persistence of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Our objectives were to isolate and characterize a high-affinity phosphate-transporter (P-transporter) from alfalfa roots (Medicago sativa L.); determine how phosphorus (P) nutrition impacts P-uptake, growth, and carbohydrate and protein metabolism of alfalfa cells; and learn how expression of the P-transporter is influenced by P nutrition. An 1087-base pair (bp) sequence was isolated using RT-PCR that possessed high nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity to high-affinity P-transporters. Cultured cells were sampled at 3-day intervals for 9 days while growing in media containing P concentrations ranging from 0 to 10 mM. Media P concentrations declined rapidly in all P treatments by day 6. Low media P concentrations (0, 0.1 and 0.5 mM) reduced cell growth rates compared to higher media P levels (2.5, 5 and 10 mM). Suspension cell cultures supplied 0.5, 2.5, 5, and 10 mM P had lower starch concentrations by day 3 compared to cells cultured in media containing 0 and 0.1 mM P. Steady-state transcript levels for the high-affinity P- transporter were high in P-deprived cells, but declined within 1 day when cells were provided 10 mM P.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acids
  • Gene expression
  • Lucerne
  • Medicago sativa L.
  • Phosphate nutrition
  • Phosphate transporter
  • Protein
  • Starch
  • Sugar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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