Phosphorus deficiency in plants: Responses, adaptive mechanisms, and signaling

Tariq Aziz, Muhammad Sabir*, Muhammad Farooq, M. Aamer Maqsood, Hamaad Raza Ahmad, Ejaz Ahmad Warraich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus (P) deficiency is a common nutritional factor limiting agricultural production around the globe. Application of phosphatic fertilizers is generally recommended to cope with P deficiency; however, low use efficiency of available P fertilizers both in calcareous and acid soils limits its viability and also had serious environmental concerns. Higher plants have adapted a number of mechanism to live with low available P in soil such as changes in root morphology and architecture, decreased growth rate, improved P uptake and utilization efficiency, and exudation of organic acids and enzymes to solubilize external inorganic and organic P compounds in the rhizosphere. Plant species and even cultivars widely differ in P efficiency because of differences in one or more of these mechanisms. Exploitation of these genetic variations among crop plants can sustain agricultural production. Understanding the mechanism involved in sensing P deficiency could facilitate selection, breeding, and genetic engineering approaches to improve crop production in P-stressed environments and could reduce dependence on nonrenewable inorganic P resources. In this chapter, we briefly reviewed the responses of P deficiency in higher plants, their adaptive mechanisms, and signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Signaling
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the Molecular Crosstalk
PublisherSpringer India
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9788132215424
ISBN (Print)8132215419, 9788132215417
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Organic acid efflux
  • Phosphorus
  • Phosphorus signaling deficiency
  • Phosphorus utilization efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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