Main Root Adaptations in Pepper Germplasm (Capsicum spp.) to Phosphorus Low-Input Conditions
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AuthorPereira-Dias, Leandro; Gil-Villar, Daniel; Castell-Zeising, Vicente; Quinones, Ana; Calatayud, Ángeles; Rodríguez-Burruezo, Adrian; Fita, Ana
Cita bibliográficaPereira-Dias, L., Gil-Villar, D., Castell-Zeising, V., Quiñones, A., Calatayud, Á., Rodríguez-Burruezo, A., & Fita, A. (2020). Main Root Adaptations in Pepper Germplasm (Capsicum spp.) to Phosphorus Low-Input Conditions. Agronomy, 10(5), 637.
Agriculture will face many challenges regarding food security and sustainability. Improving phosphorus use efficiency is of paramount importance to face the needs of a growing population while decreasing the toll on the environment. Pepper (Capsicum spp.) is widely cultivated around the world; hence, any breakthrough in this field would have a major impact in agricultural systems. Herein, the response to phosphorus low-input conditions is reported for 25 pepper accessions regarding phosphorus use efficiency, biomass and root traits. Results suggest a differential response from different plant organs to phosphorus starvation. Roots presented the lowest phosphorus levels, possibly due to mobilizations towards above-ground organs. Accessions showed a wide range of variability regarding efficiency parameters, offering the possibility of selecting materials for different inputs. Accessions bol_144 and fra_DLL showed an interesting phosphorus efficiency ratio under low-input conditions, whereas mex_scm and sp_piq showed high phosphorus uptake efficiency and mex_pas and sp_bola the highest values for phosphorus use efficiency. Phosphorus low-input conditions favored root instead of aerial growth, enabling increases of root total length, proportion of root length dedicated to fine roots and root specific length while decreasing roots’ average diameter. Positive correlation was found between fine roots and phosphorus efficiency parameters, reinforcing the importance of this adaptation to biomass yield under low-input conditions. This work provides relevant first insights into pepper’s response to phosphorus low-input conditions.