Review: Targeting root ion uptake kinetics to increase plant productivity and nutrient use efficiency (Plant Physiol.)

Continuous agricultural production is required to feed the growing population, and fertilizers are important factors determining the productivity of today’s high-input agriculture. Fertilizers increase the cost of production, some are produced from finite sources, and some create environmental concern, moreover a great proportion of the nutrient(s) applied through fertilizer(s) never meet the crop. To cope with this situation, improving crop varieties with better nutrient use efficiency is important, which requires an understanding of nutrient uptake, transport and root system architecture. Understudied in this regard are the effects of number of transporters, types of transporters, induction of transporters, transporter binding and release properties, and transporter energetic costs. Griffiths and York discuss and review the theory of ion movement and uptake, and the advantages and disadvantages of various practical approaches for such studies. Variation in phenotypes related to nutrient uptake kinetics and in the associated genes/alleles are also presented indicating scope for pre-breeding and further crop improvement for nutrient use efficiency and thus sustainable agriculture. (Summary by Hari Gowthem G @HariGowthemG) Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.19.01496