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Genetic responses to phosphorus deficiency

Hammond, J. P. ORCID:, Broadley, M. R. and White, P. J. (2004) Genetic responses to phosphorus deficiency. Annals of Botany, 94 (3). pp. 323-332. ISSN 0305-7364

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/aob/mch156


Background: Phosphorus (P) is an essential macronutrient for plants. Plants take up P as phosphate (Pi) from the soil solution. Since little Pi is available in most soils, P fertilizers are applied to crops. However, the use of P fertilizers is unsustainable and may cause pollution. Consequently, there is a need to develop more P-use-efficient (PUE) crops and precise methods to monitor crop P-status. Scope: Manipulating the expression of genes to improve the PUE of crops could reduce their P fertilizer requirement. This has stimulated research towards the identification of genes and signalling cascades involved in plant responses to P deficiency. Genes that respond to P deficiency can be grouped into 'early' genes that respond rapidly and often non-specifically to P deficiency, or 'late' genes that impact on the morphology, physiology or metabolism of plants upon Prolonged P deficiency. Summary: The use of micro-array technology has allowed researchers to catalogue the genetic responses of plants to P deficiency. Genes whose expression is altered by P deficiency include various transcription factors, which are thought to coordinate plant responses to P deficiency, and other genes involved in P acquisition and tissue P economy. Several common cis-regulatory elements have been identified in the promoters of these genes, suggesting that their expression might be coordinated. It is suggested that knowledge of the genes whose expression changes in response to P deficiency might allow the development of crops with improved PUE, and could be used in diagnostic techniques to monitor P deficiency in crops either directly using 'smart' indicator plants or indirectly through transcript profiling. The development of crops with improved PUE and the adoption of diagnostic technology could reduce production costs, minimize the use of a non-renewable resource, reduce pollution and enhance biodiversity.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:33859
Uncontrolled Keywords:phosphorus phosphate deficiency stress gene expression
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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