Enhanced phosphorus nutrition in monocots and dicots over-expressing a phosphorus-responsive type I H+-pyrophosphatase

Haibing Yang, Jane Knapp, Pratistha Koirala, Divya Rajagopal, Wendy Ann Peer, Lawrence K. Silbart, Angus Murphy, Roberto A. Gaxiola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Plants challenged by limited phosphorus undergo dramatic morphological and architectural changes in their root systems in order to increase their absorptive surface area. In this paper, it is shown that phosphorus deficiency results in increased expression of the type I H+-pyrophosphatase AVP1 (AVP, Arabidopsis vacuolar pyrophosphatase), subsequent increased P-type adenosine triphosphatase (P-ATPase)-mediated rhizosphere acidification and root proliferation. Molecular genetic manipulation of AVP1 expression in Arabidopsis, tomato and rice results in plants that outperform controls when challenged with limited phosphorus. However, AVP1 over-expression and the resulting rhizosphere acidification do not result in increased sensitivity to AlPO4, apparently because of the enhancement of potassium uptake and the release of organic acids. Thus, the over-expression of type I H+- pyrophosphatases appears to be a generally applicable technology to help alleviate agricultural losses in low-phosphorus tropical/subtropical soils and to reduce phosphorus runoff pollution of aquatic and marine environments resulting from fertilizer application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-745
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • H-pyrophosphatase
  • Phosphorus nutrition
  • Rhizosphere acidification
  • Root architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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