Solubilization and Acquisition of Phosphorus from Sparingly Soluble Phosphorus Sources and Differential Growth Response of Brassica Cultivars Exposed to Phosphorus-Stress Environment

M. Shahbaz Akhtar, Makoto Nishigaki, Yoko Oki, Tadashi Adachi, Yoshitaka Nakashima, Ghulam Murtaza, Tariq Aziz, Muhammad Sabir, Saifullah, M. Aamer Maqsood, M. Zia-ur-Rehman, Abdul Wakeel, Yuki Nakamoto, Claudia Hartwig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphate (Pi), the fully oxidized and assimilated form of phosphorus (P), influences virtually all developmental and biochemical processes in plants; however, its availability and distribution are widely heterogeneous. Paradoxically, although total P is abundant in lithosphere, elusive soil chemistry of Pi renders the element the most dilute and the least mobile in natural and agricultural ecosystems, resulting in P deprivation due to its low mobility and high fixation capacity in the soil. Nonmycorrhizal Brassica does not produce specialized cluster/dauciform roots but is an effective P user compared to other crops. Using a soil low in P (Mehlich 3-extractable P) with or without P fertilization, Brassica cultivars showed substantial genetic diversity in P-utilization efficiency (PUE), P efficiency (PE), P-efficiency ratio (PER), and P-stress factor (PSF). Cultivars producing greater root biomass accumulated greater total P contents, which in turn was related negatively to PSF and positively to shoot and total biomass. Plant survival and reproduction rely on efficient strategies in exploring culture media for P. Acquisition of orthophosphate from extracellular sparse P sources may be enhanced by biochemical rescue strategies such as copious H+ efflux and/or carboxylates exudation into rhizosphere by roots via plasmalemma H+-ATPase and anion channels triggered by P starvation. The P-starvation-induced solution pH changes due to H+ efflux, and carboxylates exudations were estimated by low-P-tolerant and low-P-sensitive cultivars in solution culture experiments. Low-P-tolerant cultivars showed more decrease in pH compared to low-P-sensitive cultivars when cultivars were grown under a P-stress environment induced by using sparingly soluble P sources (rock phosphate and tricalcium phosphate). The P contents of cultivars were inversely related to decrease in culture media pH. Low P-tolerant cultivars presented enhanced H+-efflux and total carboxylates exudations compared to low-P-sensitive cultivars, resulting in more rhizosphere acidification to scavenge Pi, evidencing their adaptability to P starvation. These elegant P-stress-induced rescue strategies by tested cultivars provided the basis of enhanced P solubilization and acquisition of P from sparingly soluble P sources to combat P-starved environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1258
Number of pages17
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Brassica
  • H efflux
  • P efficiency
  • P solubilization
  • P starvation
  • rhizosphere acidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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