Understanding how complexes with amino acids in soil solution affect plant zinc (Zn) uptake may aid in optimising plant Zn nutrition. We investigated the influence of histidine and glycine in nutrient solution on apoplastic and symplastic uptake and root-to-shoot translocation of Zn in a triticale (×Triticosecale cv. Elinor) and a bread wheat cultivar (Triticum aestivum cv. Back Cross Rushan). Six-week-old seedlings of the two cultivars were transferred to a nutrient solution containing 20 µm Zn, to which 50 µm histidine, 50 µm glycine or no amino acids were added. Control plants were transplanted to nutrient solution with no Zn or amino acids. Higher concentrations of Zn were found in root and shoots of wheat and triticale plants supplied with Zn than in the control plants without Zn supply. Among the treatments with Zn supply, histidine enhanced, whereas glycine reduced, symplastic root Zn concentration in bread wheat. Both amino acids decreased the symplastic root Zn concentration but had no effect on apoplastic Zn in triticale. Both amino acid treatments also reduced Zn concentrations in the xylem sap of the two plant species compared with the treatment with Zn addition only. In bread wheat, the effect was stronger for glycine than for histidine; in triticale, it was the same for both amino acids. The concentration of Zn in xylem sap was always greater in wheat than in triticale. Addition of histidine to the nutrient solution increased the total amount of shoot Zn in triticale but not in bread wheat, compared with the treatment with Zn addition only, whereas glycine had no significant effect on total shoot Zn in either of the plant species. The results show that histidine, but not glycine, can enhance Zn uptake and translocation into the aboveground parts of triticale. We suggest that this ability of histidine was due to the formation of strong complexes with Zn.
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Vol. 66 • No. 11