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Plant and microbial strategies to improve the phosphorus efficiency of agriculture

Authors:

Richardson, A.E.; Lynch, J.P.; Ryan, P.R.; Delhaize, E.; Smith, F.A.; Smith, S.E.; Harvey, P.R.; Ryan, M.H.; Veneklaas, E.J.; Lambers, H.; Oberson, A.; Culvenor, R.A.; Simpson, R.J.

Source:

Plant and Soil (in press)

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Abstract:

Background Agricultural production is often limited by low phosphorus (P) availability. In developing countries, which have limited access to P fertiliser, there is a need to develop plants that are more efficient at low soil P. In fertilised and intensive systems, P-efficient plants are required to minimise inefficient use of P-inputs and to reduce potential for loss of P to the environment. Scope Three strategies by which plants and microorganisms 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.