p-ISSN (Print Version): 2724 - 699X

e-ISSN (Electronic Version):  2724-7007

Special Issue : June 2021

Effect of phosphorus deficiency induced in calcareous soil on plant growth, phosphorus use efficiency and acid phosphatase activity of Medicago truncatula.

Authors: Kouas Saber, Slatni Tarek, Mhadhbi Haythem & Abdelly Chedly


Calcareous soils, characterized by a higher pH, are frequent in the North West of Tunisia. Large concentrations of calcium carbonate in calcareous soils result in accumulation of high levels of bicarbonate ions, which complex with phosphate, resulting in phosphorus deficiency (induced P deficiency) for plants. The impact of calcareous soil on plant growth, photosynthetic activity and acid phosphatase activity was explored in two lines of Medicago truncatula: TN6.18 and Jemalong. Calcareous soil significantly restricted shoot growth only in Jemalong (-45 % of the control). When grown on calcareous soil, root length was stimulated, this effect being more pronounced in TN6.18. Under calcareous soil, net CO2 assimilation declined more in Jemalong (-40 % of the control) than in TN6.18 (-20 % of the control). CO2 accumulation was increased in Jemalong (+35% of the control) plants grown in calcareous soil. The acid phosphatase activity was higher in plants cultivated under calcareous soil. This increased phosphatase activity was more pronounced in TN6.18, which showed higher accumulation of Pi in shoots and roots than Jemalolng.  In the light of these results, the present study proposes acid phosphatase as a useful candidate for improving Pi acquisition and utilization under calcareous soil.