How changing root system architecture can help tackle a reduction in soil phosphate (P) levels for better plant P acquisition

J. HEPPELL, P. TALBOYS, S. PAYVANDI, K. C. ZYGALAKIS, J. FLIEGE, P. J. A. WITHERS, D. L. JONES, T. ROOSE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-128
Number of pages11
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 24 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: We 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.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'How changing root system architecture can help tackle a reduction in soil phosphate (P) levels for better plant P acquisition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this