Phosphate is both really important (think of its abundance in DNA, RNA, ATP, and membrane lipids), and really difficult to assimilate due to its insolubility and immobility in soil. Phosphate is frequently limiting for growth, meaning that it is widely applied as fertilizer, but global supplies of phosphate are finite and becoming increasingly difficult to extract (see this for example). As a consequence, there is considerable interest in identifying plant responses to limiting phosphate, including as reviewed by Abel the strategies by which roots sense and respond to phosphate. Phosphate assimilation is complicated by the presence of metallic cations Fe3+ and Al3+, and the interactions between low phosphate and the uptake of these ions is also discussed. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 10.1016/j.pbi.2017.04.016
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