Vochysia tucanorum Mart.: an aluminum-accumulating species evidencing calcifuge behavior
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Background and aims: Acidic soil occupies 30% of the world’s ice-free land, and exchangeable aluminum (Al) availability increases under these conditions, being toxic to many plant species. However, some plants accumulate Al without damage to their metabolism. Vochysia tucanorum is an Al-accumulating species endemic to the cerrado vegetation with acidic soils in South America. Here, we predict that it is a calcifuge species. Methods: We assessed macro and micronutrient concentrations as well as Al accumulation, plant height and root length of potted plants grown on acidic and calcareous soil for 60 days. A LC-MS-based metabolite fingerprinting of plants on both conditions was also performed. Results: Plants grown on acidic soil showed higher biomass and Al concentration in roots and shoots than those grown on calcareous soil. Despite the higher concentration of macronutrients on plants grown on calcareous soil, micronutrients concentration was similar between plants grown on these soils. Plants grown on the calcareous soil showed necrotic leaves. The metabolite fingerprinting indicated significant changes in the metabolism of phenolics and organic acids. Conclusions: Due to the high Al accumulation in plants grown on acidic soil, and their inability to survive in calcareous soil, we conclude that V. tucanorum is an Al-accumulating species with calcifuge behavior.