Intraspecific variability largely affects the leaf metabolomics response to isosmotic macrocation variations in two divergent lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) varieties

Luigi Lucini, Leilei Zhang, Giandomenico Corrado, Christophe El-Nakhel, Giuseppe Colla, Youssef Rouphael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mineral elements are essential for plant growth and development and strongly affect crop yield and quality. To cope with an everchanging environment, plants have developed specific responses to combined nutrient variations. In this work, we investigated the effects of multifactorial treatments with three macrocations (K, Ca, and Mg) on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) varieties that strongly diverge in leaf pigmentation (full red or green). Specifically, we monitored main leaf parameters and metabolomics profiles of hydroponically grown plants fed with isosmotic nutrient solutions that have different proportions of macroelements. The result revealed a high biochemical plasticity of lettuce, significantly affected by the genotype, the nutrient solution, and their interaction. Our work also provided evidence and insights into the different intraspecific responses to multifactorial variation of macrocations, with two varieties having distinct strategies to metabolically respond to nutrient variation. Overall, plant adaptive mechanisms increased the phytochemical diversity between the varieties both among and within the main classes of plant secondary metabolites. Finally, our work also implies that the interaction of a pre-existing phytochemical diversity with the management of multiple mineral elements can offer added health-related benefits to the edible product specific to the variety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPlants
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Breeding
  • Leaf
  • Macronutrients
  • Nutrient availability
  • Omics
  • Primary metabolism
  • Secondary metabolism

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