How changing root system architecture can help tackle a reduction in soil phosphate (P) levels for better plant P acquisition
ZYGALAKIS, K. C.
WITHERS, P. J. A.
JONES, D. L.
KAUST Grant NumberKUK-C1-013-04
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The readily available global rock phosphate (P) reserves may run out within the next 50-130 years, causing soils to have a reduced P concentration which will affect plant P uptake. Using a combination of mathematical modelling and experimental data, we investigated potential plant-based options for optimizing crop P uptake in reduced soil P environments. By varying the P concentration within a well-mixed agricultural soil, for high and low P (35.5-12.5mgL-1 respectively using Olsen's P index), we investigated branching distributions within a wheat root system that maximize P uptake. Changing the root branching distribution from linear (evenly spaced branches) to strongly exponential (a greater number of branches at the top of the soil) improves P uptake by 142% for low-P soils when root mass is kept constant between simulations. This causes the roots to emerge earlier and mimics topsoil foraging. Manipulating root branching patterns, to maximize P uptake, is not enough on its own to overcome the drop in soil P from high to low P. Further mechanisms have to be considered to fully understand the impact of P reduction on plant development.
CitationHEPPELL J, TALBOYS P, PAYVANDI S, ZYGALAKIS KC, FLIEGE J, et al. (2014) How changing root system architecture can help tackle a reduction in soil phosphate (P) levels for better plant P acquisition. Plant Cell Environ 38: 118–128. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.12376.
SponsorsWe would like to thank the BBSRC and DEFRA (BB/I024283/1) for funding S.P. and The Royal Society University Research Fellowship for funding T.R. K.C.Z. was partially funded by Award No. KUK-C1-013-04 of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); J.F. by EPSRC and CORMSIS; J.H. by EPSRC Complexity DTC (EP/G03690X/1); and S.P., P.T., D.L.J. and T.R. by DEFRA, BBSRC, Scottish Government, AHDB, and other industry partners through Sustainable Arable LINK Project LK09136. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that improved the manuscript.
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
CollectionsPublications Acknowledging KAUST Support
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