Plant and Microbe Strategies to Improve P Efficiency

Summarised by Dr Ash Martin  PhD BSc(For)Hons

Agricultural production is often limited by low phosphorus (P) availability.  Three strategies by which plants and microbes may improve P-use efficiency are outlined: (i) Root-foraging strategies that improve P acquisition by lowering the critical P requirement of plant growth and allowing agriculture to operate at lower levels of soil P; (ii) P-mining strategies to enhance the desorption, solubilisation or mineralisation of P from sparingly-available sources in soil using root exudates (organic anions, phosphatases), and (iii) improving internal P-utilisation efficiency through the use of plants that yield more per unit of P uptake.  This article critically reviews evidence that more P-efficient plants can be developed by modifying root growth and architecture, through manipulation of root exudates or by managing plant-microbial associations such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and microbial inoculants.

Click here for more information about P Wise

Read the in-depth article:

Richardson et al. (2011).  Plant and microbial strategies to improve the phosphorus efficiency of agriculture.  Plant and Soil.  349: 121–156.  (Requires PDF viewer)

Not sure which tests to ask for?

Use our selector to find out exactly which tests you need

We’ve designed a selector that will help you choose exactly the right tests to meet your specific requirements: