Foliar-applied lanthanum chloride increases growth and phosphorus acquisition in phosphorus-limited adzuki bean seedlings

  • Huida Lian
  • Cheng Qin
  • Cong Zhang
  • Minfei Yan
  • Hongbing Li
  • Suiqi ZhangEmail author
Regular Article



Lanthanum, a rare earth element, is used in agriculture and forestry to promote plant growth and productivity. We aimed to investigate its role in altering the roots and alleviating P deficiency in the adzuki bean Vigna angularis.


The adzuki bean variety “Jin No. 5” was pre-cultivated in sand. Fourteen-day-old seedlings were sprayed twice with 0.4 mM LaCl3 solution. Next, we treated the seedlings with half-strength Hoagland solution containing P reduced to 1% of its original concentration (P-deficient); P reduced to 5% of the original (P-marginal); and unadjusted solution (P-sufficient). We measured plant growth, root structure, root hydraulic conductivity, P content, gas exchange, and photosynthetic pigment levels in all groups.


LaCl3 application significantly increased leaf P concentration, effectively improving the P uptake efficiency of roots, shoots, and leaves under severe P stress. Root morphology and acid phosphatase (APase) activity varied significantly in response to LaCl3 under low-P stress. A greater leaf area, gas exchange ability, chlorophyll content, and carotenoid content were observed in the presence of LaCl3 under P-marginal stress.


The application of LaCl3 can promote growth and P acquisition in adzuki beans under P limitation by inducing changes in root morphology, APase activity, and hydraulic conductivity.


Adzuki bean Phosphorus limit Lanthanum Root morphology Root acid phosphatase activity Gas exchange ability 



This study received financial support from the National Science and Technology Supporting Programs (2015BAD22B01) and Project 111 of the Chinese Education Ministry (No. B12007).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huida Lian
    • 1
  • Cheng Qin
    • 1
  • Cong Zhang
    • 1
  • Minfei Yan
    • 1
  • Hongbing Li
    • 2
  • Suiqi Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess PlateauNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water ConservationChinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water ResourcesYanglingChina

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