Biodiversity within Medicago truncatula genotypes toward response to iron deficiency: Investigation of main tolerance mechanisms
Nadia Kallala, Wissal M’sehli, Karima Jelali, Marwa Batnini, Mounawer Badri, Issam Nouairi, Haythem Mhadhbi
Plant Species Biology
Iron (Fe) deficiency is one of the major environmental stresses affecting plant production in the world. The selection of tolerant genotypes is considered an effective remediation strategy for this stress. The present study was carried out in order to investigate the biodiversity within Medicago truncatula plants in response to Fe deficiency, to identify tolerant genotypes and to assess the main tolerance mechanisms. To do this, a screening test was performed on 20 M. truncatula genotypes cultivated in minimal medium. Biometric and physiological markers were analyzed, including plant biomass, chlorophyll and root architecture. Results showed a biodiversity among the 20 genotypes. Interestingly, Fe deficiency tolerance was highest in TN8.20 and A17 genotypes. However, the lowest tolerance behavior was observed in TN1.11 and TN6.18. In order to investigate the main tolerance mechanisms, an experiment was conducted in the hydroponic system on already selected genotypes. Assessment of Fe deficiency tolerance was performed mainly on plant growth parameters, Fe (III)‐chelate‐reductase activity, rhizosphere acidification and antioxidant system defense. The relative better tolerance of A17 and TN8.20 to Fe deficiency was positively correlated with their capacity to maintain higher Fe‐acquisition efficiency in roots via rhizosphere acidification and the stimulation of Fe (III)‐chelate‐reductase activity. Moreover, tolerant genotypes showed the lowest decreases in chlorophyll content and photosynthetic activity (CO2 assimilation) compared to the sensitive ones. The efficiency of antioxidant capacity of the tolerant genotypes was revealed in stimulation of catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POX) activities as well as accumulation of polyphenols, leading to the maintenance of cell integrity under Fe deficiency.
Absorption, Quantitation, Agriculture and environmental