Secretion of malate and citrate from roots is related to high Al-resistance in Lespedeza bicolor

Xiao Ying Dong, Ren Fang Shen, Rong Fu Chen, Zhao Liang Zhu, Jian Feng Ma

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Lespedeza bicolor (Lespedeza bicolor Turcz. cv. Jiangxi) is a leguminous shrub that is well adapted to acid infertile soils. However, the mechanisms of aluminum resistance in this species have not been established. This study aimed to assess the possible resistance mechanisms of this plant to Al. An Al-sensitive species of Lespedeza, sericea lespedeza [Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don cv. Zhejiang], was used as a reference. The roots of L. bicolor secreted both malate and citrate after exposure to Al, but roots of L. cuneata did not. The secretion of organic acids from L. bicolor was specific to Al; neither 15-day P starvation nor 50 μM lanthanum induced the secretion of these organic acid anions. Secretion of organic acid anions in L. bicolor was detected after 3-6 h exposure to Al, and the amount increased significantly after 6 h exposure, suggesting that this plant shows a pattern II-type organic acid secretion. This is supported by the finding that the secretion was significantly inhibited by a protein-synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide. Two kinds of anion-channel inhibitors had different effects on Al-induced secretion of organic acids: 9-anthracene carboxylic acid completely inhibited secretion, phenylglyoxal had no effect. Root elongation in L. bicolor was more severely inhibited by Al in the presence of 9-anthracene carboxylic acid. All these results indicated that the secretion of malate and citrate is a specialized response to Al stress in L. bicolor roots, which might be one of the Al-resistance mechanisms in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Al resistance
  • Anion-channel inhibitors
  • Citrate
  • Lespedeza bicolor
  • Malate
  • Specific secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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