The availability of soil phosphorus (P) frequently limits plant growth in both natural and agricultural systems. In agricultural systems the application of P fertilisers often leads to environmental problems. Moreover, readily available sources for P fertilisers will be depleted by the end of this century. To decrease our dependence on P fertilisers, a better understanding of the scavenging, uptake and use of P by plants is quintessential. In this respect, we may learn from plant species that form cluster roots (highly branched specialised root structures), as these are extremely effective in mobilising sparingly soluble soil minerals such as P. How do these roots achieve this? Is their effective P scavenging and uptake mainly a result of their different morphology, or are there also physiological or biochemical differences between cluster-rooted and non-cluster rooted species? The multidisciplinary workshop at which the papers in this volume were presented aimed at describing the up to date issues surrounding P scavenging, uptake and use, in species with and without cluster roots, by discussing these issues amongst a group of leading international scientists.
From the contents:Introduction * The biology of cluster roots and the acquisition of P from the rhizosphere * Pathways of carbon metabolism related to enhanced exudation of organic acids and acid phosphatase * The influence of organic acid exudation and cluster roots on P and N acquisition * The influence of plant nutrition on plant growth and development of cluster roots * Implications of root architecture, root-soil interactions and mycorrhiza on plant P nutrition * Volume contents * Author index.
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