Feeding World Population Amidst Depleting Phosphate Reserves: The Role of Biotechnological Interventions
S. Antony Ceasar1, 2 , *
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2018
First Page: 51
Last Page: 55
Publisher ID: TOBIOTJ-12-51
Article History:Received Date: 06/02/2018
Revision Received Date: 04/04/2018
Acceptance Date: 09/04/2018
Electronic publication date: 30/04/2018
Collection year: 2018
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Phosphorus (P) is an important macronutrient affecting the growth and yield of all crop plants. Plants absorb P from the soil solution as inorganic phosphate (Pi). More than 70% of the arable land is deficient of Pi which demands the supply of an external source of synthetic P fertilizers to improve the yields. The P fertilizers are manufactured from non-renewable rock phosphate reserves which are expected to be exhausted within the next 100-200 years. This poses a great threat to food security since it is very difficult to meet the food production caused by increasing world population without the supply of an adequate P fertilizer. Several efforts have been made in the past decade to understand the mechanism of Pi uptake and its redistribution in plants. In this mini-review, we discuss the details on possible strategies to combat the crisis caused by loss of phosphate rock reserves and to improve the crop yield without much dependency on external P fertilizer. Approaches such as application of functional genomics studies to manipulate the expression levels of key transcription factors and genes involved in low Pi stress tolerance, molecular marker-assisted breeding to develop new varieties with improved yields under Pi-deficient soils and to recapture the Pi released in wastewaters for recycling back to the farm lands, will help improve the crop production without depending much on non-renewable P fertilizers and will also aid for the sustainable food production.