Potassium and storage root development: focusing on photosynthesis, metabolites and soluble carbohydrates in cassava

John Okoth Omondi, Naftali Lazarovitch, Shimon Rachmilevitch, Titaya Kukew, Uri Yermiyahu, Hagai Yasuor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The linkage between K and the development of storage roots in root crops is partially understood, hence this experiment determined some of the mechanisms involved in cassava. The effects of 10, 40, 70, 100, 150 and 200 mg K l−1 fertigation on photosynthetic attributes, soluble carbohydrates, starch, metabolites, growth and yield were studied in a greenhouse. Storage root yield, number of storage roots, stomatal conductance and net photosynthesis reached maximum at 150 mg K l−1. However, soluble carbohydrates and starch in the leaves significantly declined with an increasing concentration of K solution, similarly to the trend of glycerol in the leaves. Conversely, malic acid, citric acid and propionic acid gradually increased reaching maximum at 150, 150 and 70 mg K l−1 respectively. Combined, these results suggest that sugars were transported from the leaves to a stronger sink – the bulking storage roots. This and the increase of intermediate metabolites of tricarboxylic acid cycle provided the energy required for the bulking process and the development of the storage roots. Although the measured parameters indirectly link K to storage root development, they nonetheless form a basis for studies on direct interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Volume169
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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