Improving phosphorus use efficiency of potatoes

Improving phosphorus use efficiency of potatoes: the implications on plant growth and tuber nutritional quality

Hydroponisches Experiment_klein Phosphorus (P) is one of the most yield limiting mineral elements for potato. The main source of P fertilizer is non-renewable, and it becomes scarce. The potato plant is not efficient in P uptake due to its limited and shallow root system. While many of the soils used in potato production have low P availability, it is a standard practice to apply a huge amount of inorganic P fertilizer before planting to ensure sufficient P concentration in the soil. However, less than 25% of applied P is available for potato plant root to uptake, while the rest becomes immobile and is lost through surface run-off, which contributes to eutrophication. Reducing P fertilizer application is suggested to improve P use efficiency (PUE) in potato plants.

The main objective of this project is to explore P fertilization strategies in order to improve PUE while maintaining growth, yield, and nutritional quality of potato.

Hydroponic and pot experiments are conducted with specific objectives mentioned below:

  • To investigate the responses of potato plants in biomass partitioning, mineral allocation, and secondary metabolite accumulation to different P fertilization levels
  • To explore the potentials and mechanisms of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in enhancing root growth and phosphorus uptake in low P supplies
  • To evaluate the variation in photosynthetic characteristics of potato cultivars in response to P fertilizations
  • To assess the implications of improving PUE on tuber mineral compositions and antioxidant capacity of potato cultivars