Genetic variability in phosphorus acquisition and utilization efficiency from sparingly soluble P-sources by Brassica cultivars under P-stress environment

M. S. Akhtar, Y. Oki, T. Adachi

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Plants display an array of classical strategies to maximize phosphate (Pi) acquisition from sparingly soluble P sources. Acclimation to Pi-stress via elegant Pi-starvation induced (PSI) adjustments would reduce our current overreliance on expensive, polluting and non-renewable Pi-fertilizers. Nevertheless, differences in the ability of various species to solubilize sparingly soluble P-sources have been often evidenced; inter-cultivar variations are scarcely documented. Brassica is known as an effective, non-mycorrhizal user of sparingly soluble P-sources. Various growth parameters and biomass accumulation by genetically diverse Brassica cultivars were determined in four experiments using hydroponics and quartz sand culture media. Role of PSI root mediated pH changes, organic anions (OAs) exudation and altered root architecture in mobilization and acquisition of sparingly soluble P-forms [Jordan rock-P (RP) at 2 g l-1 and Ca3(PO 4)2 (TCP) at 0.2 g l-1 respectively] was investigated. Cultivars showed considerable genetic variations in biomass accumulation, various growth parameters and root-shoot ratio. Concentration and total uptake of P, specific absorption rate of P, P-transport rate and P-utilization efficiency (PUE) were also significantly (P < 0.001) different for various cultivars and their dry matter was significantly correlated with P-uptake [r = 0.94** (significant at 1% level)]. P-tolerant cultivars showed substantial decrease in solution media pH because of H + efflux and exuded more carboxylates than low P-sensitive cultivars under P-starvation. P-uptake by cultivars increased linearly with decreasing pH. The amount and types of OAs exuded from the roots of P-starved plants differed from those of plants grown under P-sufficient environment. In split pot study, with TCP and RP supplied spatially separated from other nutrients, efficient cultivars were still able to mobilize RP and TCP more efficiently than inefficient cultivars. In rhizobox study, the elongation rates of primary roots decreased but the elongation rates of the branched zones of primary roots and the length of lateral roots increased under P-starvation. Tested cultivars showed genetic diversity in accessing, mobilization, acquisition and utilization of Pi from sparingly soluble P forms. An arrange marriage of plant traits can explain cultivar's access to different forms of sparingly soluble P, and in addition to altered lateral root topology and enhanced P-uptake and PUE, enhanced H+ efflux and OAs exudation are key factors in Pi scavenging from extra cellular sparingly soluble P-forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-392
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2008


  • Brassica
  • Ca(PO)
  • H and carboxylates exudation
  • P-stress factor
  • P-utilization efficiency
  • Rock P
  • Root architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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