Journal article

Divergent responses of above- and below-ground chemical defence to nitrogen and phosphorus supply in waratahs (Telopea speciosissima)

Edita Ritmejeryte, Berin A Boughton, Michael J Bayly, Rebecca E Miller

Functional Plant Biology | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2019

Abstract

Plant nutrition can affect the allocation of resources to plant chemical defences, yet little is known about how phosphorus (P) supply, and relative nitrogen (N) and P supply, affect chemical defences, especially in species with intrinsically conservative nutrient use adapted to P-impoverished soils. Waratah (Telopea speciosissima (Sm.) R.Br.), like other Proteaceae, is adapted nutrient-poor soils. It was identified as having cyanogenic glycosides (CNglycs) throughout the plant. T. speciosissima seedlings were grown for 15 weeks under two N and P concentrations. CNglycs (N-based defence) and nutrients were quantified in above- and below-ground organs; foliar carbon (C)-based phenolics and ta..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Wethank Sutherland Nursery staff for useful discussions about waratah seed germination. We thank Anna Obvintseva, Jesse Kurylo and Vicky Waymouth for potting and harvest assistance; Sascha Andrusiak and Nick Osborne for nursery assistance. We are also grateful to Cherie Beahan, Roshan Cheetamun and Shannon Holbrook for freeze dryer access. Plant material was collected under New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Scientific Licences SL100305 and SL101851. This research was supported by funds from an Early Career Researchers grant to Rebecca E. Miller, in part by The Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment & The Ecological Society of Australia for fieldwork and the Frank Keenan scholarship. Edita Ritmejeryte was a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship.