Publications and Research
Several grain legumes are staple food crops that are important sources of minerals for humans; unfortunately, our knowledge is incomplete with respect to the mechanisms of translocation of these minerals to the vegetative tissues and loading into seeds. Understanding the mechanism and partitioning of minerals in pea could help in developing cultivars with high mineral density. A mineral partitioning study was conducted in pea to assess whole-plant growth and mineral content and the potential source-sink remobilization of different minerals, especially during seed development. Shoot and root mineral content increased for all the minerals, although tissue-specific partitioning differed between the minerals. Net remobilization was observed for P, S, Cu, and Fe from both the vegetative tissues and pod wall, but the amounts remobilized were much below the total accumulation in the seeds. Within the mature pod, more minerals were partitioned to the seed fraction (>75%) at maturity than to the pod wall for all the minerals except Ca, where only 21% was partitioned to the seed fraction. Although there was evidence for net remobilization of some minerals from different tissues into seeds, continued uptake and translocation of minerals to source tissues during seed fill is as important, if not more important, than remobilization of previously stored minerals.
This work was originally published in Frontiers in Plant Science, available at doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00149