Low soil phosphorus availability triggers maize growth stage specific rhizosphere processes leading to mineralization of organic P

Sunendra R. Joshi, James W. Morris, Malak M. Tfaily, Robert P. Young, David H. McNear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: In this study, we examine the rhizosphere processes influencing organic P (Po) utilization in soil with low inorganic P (Pi) availability and how they change with plant development. Interactions between plants and the rhizosphere microbial community triggered by P deficiency may provide insights into the role of P availability on degradation of soil organic matter (SOM). Methods: Maize (Zea mays) plants were grown in low P containing soil. Soil pH, potential acid phosphatase activities, soil C and P pools, microbial biomass C and P, microbial community structure, and plant P content were analyzed at different vegetative growth stages (VGS). Results: At early VGS, the plants were P deficient which correlated with greater rhizosphere potential acid phosphatase activity, degradation of SOM and a reduction in the Po pool. At late VGS, the plants appeared to recover which correlated with a decrease in Meh (III) extractable P, an increase in microbial biomass C and P, change in microbial community structure, and greater total P (TP) in the plant biomass. Conclusions: The mineralization of organic C and Po are coupled in low P soil where N is not limited. The overall findings from this study advance our understanding of the coupled biogeochemical rhizosphere processes controlling P cycling at different plant growth stages and notably the importance of Po to the overall P needs of plants in soil with low Pi availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-440
Number of pages18
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume459
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Maize
  • Organic phosphorus
  • Phosphorus
  • Rhizosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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