Rhizosphere Priming Effects on Legacy Organic Phosphorus (Po) in a Winter Wheat/corn Rotation

Grants and Contracts Details


High-quality mineral P fertilizers are essential for the economic, social and environmental sustainability of crop production, however, P is a finite resource with only an estimated 80-100 years of reserves remaining. When applied to soils P transforms rapidly into inorganic (Pi) and organic (Po) forms often with limited or unpredictable bioavailability. Organic P can account for 30% to 80% of the total P in soils with phytic acid (inositol hexakisphosphate) making up over half; the balance comprised of a complex mixture of mono- and diesters, phospholipids, nucleotides, sugar phosphates, phosphoproteins, and phosphonates. Because of this complexity, and the inherent heterogeneity of soils, it has proven difficult to detect and quantify Po forms in soils and to measure their contribution to plant fertility. As such, little consideration has been given to the availability of the Po pool when making soil fertility recommendations. The proposed study will be unique compared to other studies on this topic in that it will integrate advanced analytical and molecular genetic techniques with classical soil chemical methods to identify the primary physical and biogeochemical processes affecting the transformation, movement and storage of P in managed agroecosystems (specifically addressing #’s 1 and 2 of FY2015 BNRE, N and P cycling Program Area Priorities and Goal 3 of the Research, Education and Economics Action Plan).Understanding the bioavailability of Po forms in soils is of particular significance, as a better understanding of the contribution of Po to the total P needs of crop plants could significantly reduce Pi fertilizer inputs ultimately improving the economic sustainability of agronomic crop production systems while at the same time preserving important ecosystem services (e.g. reduced soil erosion, increased carbon sequestration, improved wildlife habitat, and improved water quality). This project, if funded, will also provide valuable data on the ‘missing-link’ in P management (organic P) that can be used to parameterize models useful for predicting the transformation, transport and bioavailabilty of P in agroecosystems under various climate change scenarios.
Effective start/end date5/15/168/14/21


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $499,400.00


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