Root contribution to N uptake highlighted in F1000

Last updated: 23 Apr, 2018

Nitrogen (N) is delivered to root surfaces by two soil-transport processes: diffusion and mass flow. The latter process, which is associated with plant-water uptake, is often overlooked by plant scientists. A paper recently published in New Phytologist shows that mass flow is potentially important for a subset of plant roots. The explanation is a seldom considered effect of mass flow on N uptake by soil microbes.


Photo by Filip Zrnzević on Unsplash


The importance of this paper, by Ross E. McMurtrie and Torgny Näsholm, has been highlighted on F1000 (subscription required). Torgny Näsholm has recently been awarded the Marcus Wallenberg Prize, in recognition of his groundbreaking research of the role of organic N in the nutrition of trees. His discoveries have substantial practical importance in sustainable management of forests - the fertilisation of forestry plantations, and the production of high quality seedlings in tree nurseries, for example.


Download this release to read more about the 2018 Marcus Wallenberg Prize.


Read the paper: McMurtrie, R. E. and Näsholm, T. (2018) Quantifying the contribution of mass flow to nitrogen acquisition by an individual plant root. New Phytologist, 218: 119-130. doi: 10.1111/nph.14927