+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Responses of root architecture development to low phosphorus availability: a review


      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for plant growth and development but it is often a limiting nutrient in soils. Hence, P acquisition from soil by plant roots is a subject of considerable interest in agriculture, ecology and plant root biology. Root architecture, with its shape and structured development, can be considered as an evolutionary response to scarcity of resources.


          This review discusses the significance of root architecture development in response to low P availability and its beneficial effects on alleviation of P stress. It also focuses on recent progress in unravelling cellular, physiological and molecular mechanisms in root developmental adaptation to P starvation. The progress in a more detailed understanding of these mechanisms might be used for developing strategies that build upon the observed explorative behaviour of plant roots.


          The role of root architecture in alleviation of P stress is well documented. However, this paper describes how plants adjust their root architecture to low-P conditions through inhibition of primary root growth, promotion of lateral root growth, enhancement of root hair development and cluster root formation, which all promote P acquisition by plants. The mechanisms for activating alterations in root architecture in response to P deprivation depend on changes in the localized P concentration, and transport of or sensitivity to growth regulators such as sugars, auxins, ethylene, cytokinins, nitric oxide (NO), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and abscisic acid (ABA). In the process, many genes are activated, which in turn trigger changes in molecular, physiological and cellular processes. As a result, root architecture is modified, allowing plants to adapt effectively to the low-P environment. This review provides a framework for understanding how P deficiency alters root architecture, with a focus on integrated physiological and molecular signalling.

          Related collections

          Most cited references288

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Phosphorus acquisition and use: critical adaptations by plants for securing a nonrenewable resource

          Phosphorus (P) is limiting for crop yield on > 30% of the world's arable land and, by some estimates, world resources of inexpensive P may be depleted by 2050. Improvement of P acquisition and use by plants is critical for economic, humanitarian and environmental reasons. Plants have evolved a diverse array of strategies to obtain adequate P under limiting conditions, including modifications to root architecture, carbon metabolism and membrane structure, exudation of low molecular weight organic acids, protons and enzymes, and enhanced expression of the numerous genes involved in low-P adaptation. These adaptations may be less pronounced in mycorrhizal-associated plants. The formation of cluster roots under P-stress by the nonmycorrhizal species white lupin (Lupinus albus), and the accompanying biochemical changes exemplify many of the plant adaptations that enhance P acquisition and use. Physiological, biochemical, and molecular studies of white lupin and other species response to P-deficiency have identified targets that may be useful for plant improvement. Genomic approaches involving identification of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) found under low-P stress may also yield target sites for plant improvement. Interdisciplinary studies uniting plant breeding, biochemistry, soil science, and genetics under the large umbrella of genomics are prerequisite for rapid progress in improving nutrient acquisition and use in plants. Contents I. Introduction 424 II. The phosphorus conundrum 424 III. Adaptations to low P 424 IV. Uptake of P 424 V. P deficiency alters root development and function 426 VI. P deficiency modifies carbon metabolism 431 VII. Acid phosphatase 436 VIII. Genetic regulation of P responsive genes 437 IX. Improving P acquisition 439 X. Synopsis 440.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Root Architecture and Plant Productivity.

            J. Lynch (1995)
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              Phosphorus Uptake by Plants: From Soil to Cell


                Author and article information

                Ann Bot
                Ann. Bot
                Annals of Botany
                Oxford University Press
                July 2013
                23 December 2012
                23 December 2012
                : 112
                : 2 , SPECIAL ISSUE: Matching Roots to Environment
                : 391-408
                [1 ]Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecosystem Health, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
                [2 ]College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
                [3 ]Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Subtropical Soil and Plant Nutrition, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
                [4 ]Centre for AgriBioscience/Department of Agricultural Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne Campus, Bundoora, Vic 3086, Australia
                Author notes
                [* ]For correspondence. E-mail yszhang@ 123456zju.edu.cn
                © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 16 August 2012
                : 18 October 2012
                : 14 November 2012

                Plant science & Botany
                low phosphate,phosphorus acquisition,primary root,lateral root,root hair,cluster root,sugars,auxins,ethylene,cytokinins,nitric oxide,reactive oxygen species


                Comment on this article