Phosphorus Stress-Induced Differential Growth, and Phosphorus Acquisition and Use Efficiency by Spring Wheat Cultivars

M. S. Akhtar, Yoko Oki, Y. Nakashima, T. Adachi, Makoto Nishigaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus (P) is a finite, non-renewable, and natural resource and a vital major nutrient for plant metabolic and developmental processes. However, adverse soil biogeochemical characteristics of alkaline-calcareous soils (especially Aridisols) and highly weathered acid soils (i.e., Ultisols and Oxisols) render orthophosphate (Pi) as the least available major nutrient due to P complexation, sorption, and/or fixation. In such soil environments, plant bioavailable P is only a small fraction of total soil P, seriously limiting crop growth and production. Different plant species, and even cultivars of the same species, may display a suite of growth responses that enable them to solubilize and scavenge soil P either by enhancing external Pi acquisition or reprioritizing internal Pi use under P-stress soil environments. This paper reports relative growth responses, P acquisition and P-use efficiency characteristics by 14 cultivars of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in solution culture with high/low P supply induced by applying soluble NH4H2PO4, sparingly soluble rock phosphate, and Ca3(PO4)2. The wheat cultivars exhibited considerable genetic diversity in biomass accumulation, P concentrations, P contents, factor (PSF) and P efficiency characteristics [i.e., P utilization efficiency (PUE), P efficiency (PE), and PE ratio (PER)]. Plant growth and PE parameters were significantly correlated, while P uptake was linearly related with biomass increase and solution pH decrease. The wheat cultivars with high PUE, PER and P uptake, and low PSF, and plant P concentration were more efficient in utilizing P and, hence, more tolerant under P-stress environment. Biomass and P contents of “P efficient/low-P tolerant” wheat cultivars were superior to “P inefficient/low-P sensitive” cultivars at all P-stress levels. Hence, “P efficient/low-P tolerant” cultivars are the most desirable wheat genotypes for P-stress environments because they are able to scavenge more P from sparingly soluble P sources or soil-bound P forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication statusPublished - Dec 30 2016


  • P efficiency
  • rock phosphate
  • tricalcium phosphate
  • wheat cultivars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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