J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2014, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (3): 192-220.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12163

Special Issue: Plant Signal Transduction

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Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants

Zhaoliang Zhang1, Hong Liao2 and William J. Lucas1*   

  1. 1Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
    2State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Root Biology Center, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China
  • Received:2013-12-03 Accepted:2014-01-06 Published:2014-03-01
  • About author:*Correspondence: E-mail: wjlucas@ucdavis.edu

Abstract:

As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies.

Zhang Z, Liao H, Lucas WJ (2014) Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 192–220. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12163

Key words: Adaptation, crop engineering strategies, hormone networks, local and long-distance sensing, phosphate, P use efficiency, stress responses, systemic signaling

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