Phosphorus (P) is an essential non-renewable nutrient that frequently limits plant growth. It is the foundation of modern agriculture and, to a large extent, demand for P is met from phosphate rock deposits which are limited and becoming increasingly scarce. Adding an extra stroke to this already desolate picture is the fact that a high percentage of P, through agricultural runoff and waste, makes its way into rivers and oceans leading to eutrophication and collapse of ecosystems. Therefore, there is a critical need to practise P recovery from waste and establish a circular economy applicable to P resources. The potential of microalgae to uptake large quantities of P and use of this P enriched algal biomass as biofertiliser has been regarded as a promising way to redirect P from wastewater to the field. This also makes the study of molecular mechanisms underlying P uptake and storage in microalgae of great interest. In the present paper, we review phosphate models, which express the growth rate as a function of intra- and extracellular phosphorus content for better understanding of phosphate uptake and dynamics of phosphate pools.
Keywords: biological models; inorganic polyphosphates; phosphate; plant biology.
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.