Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 308–312 | Cite as

Organic phosphorus compounds as a phosphorus source for higher plants through the activity of phosphatases produced by plant roots and microorganisms

  • J. C Tarafdar
  • N. Claassen


The efficiency of phosphatases produced by clover, barley, oats and wheat was investigated in soils treated with sodium glycerophosphate, lecithin and phytin. Root exudates of aseptically grown clover were also examined for the breakdown of different organic P compounds in order to test the efficiency of plant-produced phosphatases. In general, the plants were able to use P from all the organic sources used in the study almost as efficiently as inorganic sources. Dry-matter yield, P uptake, acid and alkaline phosphatase activity and microbial population were increased in all the P treatments. Organic P enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity. Lecithin increased fungal, and phytin bacterial growth. There was no alkaline phosphatase activity in the asepticallly grown clover root exudates. Phosphatase released in aseptic culture after 4 weeks of clover growth was able to efficiently hydrolyse sodium glycerophosphate, lecithin and phytin. The amount of organic P hydrolysed in this and in the soil experiment surpassed plant uptake by a factor of 20. This suggests that the limiting factor on plant utilization of organic P is the availability of hydrolysable organic P sources.

Key words

Organic soil P Phosphatase P uptake - Trifolium alexandrinum Hordeum vulgare L. Avena sativa L. Triticum aestivum L. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C Tarafdar
    • 1
  • N. Claassen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Agrikulturchemie der Georg August-UniversitätGottingenGermany

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