Hyphorhizo: Development of hyphenated methods as a new analytical tool for profiling of root exudate metabolites and dissolved elements species in the rhizosphereBMBF-Logo

Funded by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

DAAD-Förderprogramm „Programm des Projektbezogenen Personenaustauschs Serbien 2022-2024"


Duration: 01/2022-12/2023

Universities, Institutes, Scientists involved

  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg
    - Institute of Biosciences, Biology/Ecology Unit:
      Prof. Dr. Hermann Heilmeier (Project Leader)
    - Institute for Analytical Chemistry: Prof. Dr. Carla Vogt
  • University of Belgrade
    Institute for Multidisciplinary Research
    Department of Life Sciences
    Kneza Višeslava 1, 11030 Belgrade, Serbia

    Dr. Jelena Dragisic Maksimovic, Dr. Vuk Maksimovic

Project Description

In soils, plant roots need to cope with low solubility of nutrients in concert with the presence of rare earth elements and toxic elements (TEs: Al, As, Cd, Pb etc.). Consequently, formation of soluble complexes with different stability constants might be understood as a below-ground strategy of plants to survive in a complex multi-elemental environment.

Among plant metabolites, carboxylates and phenolics are important root exudates that can alter nutrient availability. However, up to now, relationships between nutrient availability and metabolic profiles are not yet fully understood due to lack of reliable analytical methods for sampling and determination of element species. Hence, the focus of the project is on two crop species with contrasting nutrition strategy and patterns in the constituents and amounts of root exudates (Zea mays and Lupinus albus). Appropriate methods for collection of root exudates and dissolved element species in the rhizosphere, and methods for their qualitative and quantitative assessment will be developed. The non-invasive filter strip technique, micro-suction cups and rhizosphere soil extraction will be combined with highly sensitive analytical methods (ICP-MS, LC-MS, LC-ICP-MS, HPLC-PAD). Improved sampling techniques in combination with hyphenated methods provide us novel tools to study organic complexes of TEs leading to altered nutrient availability in the rhizosphere. The species-specific signature of root exudates affected by TEs is expected as the main project scientific outcome.

The combination of data from hydroponic experiments and soil-grown plants will elucidate chemical root–soil interactions during plant nutrition and stress tolerance with implications on understanding of element cycling in agroecosystems, as well as on the development of sustainable soil management techniques.