Beauty of science: phosphorus uptake by a broad bean root nodule


The image shows the elemental distribution of chlorine, sulphur and phosphorus in a thin section of root nodule from the broad bean plant, Vicia faba. Root nodules are organs that developed on the roots of leguminous plants to host their symbiotic rhizobia, the bacteria responsible for the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen.

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The image was acquired at beamline ID21 using X-ray fluorescence imaging while under cryo-conditions (2500 × 3200 µm2).

In this study, the scientists were making a comparison of the phosphorus distribution between nodules grown under conditions either normal or deficient in phosphorus in order to better understand phosphorus utilisation for fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by legume root nodules.  


Top image: Elemental distribution in Vicia faba root nodule (Cl in red, S in green and P in blue). Image credit: C. Rivard, H. Castillo-Michel (ESRF), L. Amenc, B. Macoudi and J.-J. Drevon (UMR Eco&Sols, INRA Montpellier, France).