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Replacement of potassium by sodium: interactions and effects on the formation of wood in eucalyptus


In several plants, Na can partially replace K, leading to even greater growth. This substitution would be mainly linked to the effects on the osmotic potential. In Eucalyptus, this has been studied, and its viability has been verified in the field, where Na could partially replace K, with reduced fertilization costs and without adverse effects on growth. However, this possibility has been demonstrated mainly in hybrids between Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla, with nothing known in other species of the genus Eucalyptus, with economic importance. Despite the positive effect of this substitution, it was found that the supply of Na in place at K can decrease the density of the wood. Nothing has been studied in this regard: how the Na supply affects the deposition of the constituents of the wall. This proposal intends to study the partial replacement of K by Na in nine species of Eucalyptus and to verify, initially, if there is a beneficial effect on drought tolerance. Second, it is intended to study the anatomical structure of the wall, its constituents, the density, the location of Na and K in the stem, and the expression of several genes that control not only the deposition of cell wall polymers but also metabolism genes carbon, genes that control the level of auxin in the exchange region and K and Na transporter genes. (AU)

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