Signaling components involved in plant responses to phosphate starvation

J Integr Plant Biol. 2008 Jul;50(7):849-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00709.x.


Phosphorus is one of the macronutrients essential for plant growth and development. Many soils around the world are deficient in phosphate (Pi) which is the form of phosphorus that plants can absorb and utilize. To cope with the stress of Pi starvation, plants have evolved many elaborate strategies to enhance the acquisition and utilization of Pi from the environment. These strategies include morphological, biochemical and physiological responses which ultimately enable plants to better survive under low Pi conditions. Though these adaptive responses have been well described because of their ecological and agricultural importance, our studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying these responses are still in their infancy. In the last decade, significant progresses have been made towards the identification of the molecular components which are involved in the control of plant responses to Pi starvation. In this article, we first provide an overview of some major responses of plants to Pi starvation, then summarize what we have known so far about the signaling components involved in these responses, as well as the roles of sugar and phytohormones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Phosphates / deficiency*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Phosphates
  • Plant Growth Regulators