Maize Under Phosphate Limitation

  • Carlos Calderón-Vázquez
  • Fulgencio Alatorre-Cobos
  • June Simpson-Williamson
  • Luis Herrera-Estrella


Phosphorus is one of the least available macronutrient for plants in soils, and is therefore considered to be a major constraint for plant growth and crop productivity. As a consequence, plants evolved a number a biochemical and developmental adaptations to combat this deficiency. In maize, such adaptations are based on a wide spectrum of mechanisms needed to increase the P uptake, assimilation and use efficiency. These mechanisms frequently act in parallel with a morphological plasticity in root architecture. Such adaptive strategies have been reported in several phosphate efficient genotypes, identified and selected from the large natural and man-made diversity found within the maize species. Advances in research have now begun to identify at the molecular level the adaptations evolved by maize to cope with Pi limitation. In this chapter we summarize the current research on the development of tolerant genotypes and the physiological, biochemical and molecular adaptations associated with low phosphate availability. Such knowledge will allows us to identify putative targets for breeding and opens the possibility to improve nutrient acquisition and productivity in maize and other cereals.


Quantitative Trait Locus Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Lateral Root Root Hair Seminal Root 


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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Calderón-Vázquez
  • Fulgencio Alatorre-Cobos
  • June Simpson-Williamson
  • Luis Herrera-Estrella

There are no affiliations available

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