Phosphate-Solubilizing Microorganisms

  • Ramesh Chander Kuhad
  • Surender Singh
  • Lata
  • Ajay Singh
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 108)


Phosphorus plays a significant role in several physiological and biochemical activities such as photosynthesis, transformation of sugar to starch, and other biological processes in plants. Phosphorus in soils is immobilized due to formation of insoluble complexes such as iron and aluminium hydrous oxides, crystalline and amorphous aluminium silicate and calcium carbonate. Many soil microorganisms specially Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Aspergillus and Penicillium are effective in releasing P from inorganic and organic pools of total soil P through solubilization or mineralization and are known as phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms (PSM). The major mechanisms involved in P solubilization are by the production of organic acids mainly gluconic acid (GA), 2-ketogluconic acid, citric acid and oxalic acid, which chelate the cations bound to phosphate via their hydroxyl and carboxyl groups or by the liberation of H+, thereby converting it into soluble forms. PSM help in increasing the availability of accumulated phosphates in soil for plant growth by solubilization of phosphate, which in turn increases the biological nitrogen fixation efficiency as well as crop yield.


Rock Phosphate Gluconic Acid Phosphate Solubilization Arbuscular Mycorrhizae Insoluble Phosphate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the help from Mr. Harsh Kuhad, Amity University, Noida, India, during the preparation of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramesh Chander Kuhad
    • 1
  • Surender Singh
    • 2
  • Lata
    • 3
  • Ajay Singh
    • 3
  1. 1.Lignocellulose Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Microbiology DivisionIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Lystek International IncWaterlooCanada

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