Agronomic and Physiological Performance of the Indica Rice Varieties Differing in Tolerance to Low Phosphorus

Zhiwei Sun, Shengfeng Qiao, Yuemei Xu, Dongling Ji, Weiyang Zhang, Junfei Gu, Kuanyu Zhu, Zhiqin Wang, Jianhua Zhang, Jianchang Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Phosphorus (P) deficiency and low P use efficiency (PUE) are limiting factors in rice (Oryza sativa L.) production. Understanding the agronomic and physiological traits of P-tolerant rice varieties is crucial for improving PUE. However, the agronomic and physiological traits of rice varieties differing in tolerance to low P have not been fully studied or comprehensively explored. Two varieties with strong tolerance to low P (STVs, low P tolerance index > 0.9) and two with weak tolerance to Low P (WTVs, low P tolerance index < 0.5) were grown hydroponically with normal P level (NP, 8.02 mg L−1) and low P level (LP, 0.401 mg L−1) in year 2020 and 2021. Results showed that, compared with NP, the LP significantly decreased grain yield, but enhanced P translocation efficiency (PTE), internal P use efficiency (IPE), and P harvest index (PHI) in all the varieties. The STVs showed better performance than the WTVs. Specifically, the STVs exhibited a 131.33% higher grain yield, 15.95% higher PTE, 41.6% higher IPE, and 8.84% higher PHI compared to the WTVs. The STVs also exhibited superior shoot traits, including increased productive tillers, leaf area index (LAI), leaf photosynthetic rate, shoot biomass, contents of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and zeatin (Z) and zeatin riboside (ZR) in leaves, non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) remobilization during grain filling, and content of NSC per spikelet, when compared to the WTVs under the LP treatment. Additionally, the STVs demonstrated better root traits, such as higher root biomass, root oxidative activity (ROA), root acid phosphatase (RAP) activity, and greater root IAA and Z + ZR contents. These shoot and root traits exhibited highly positive correlations with grain yield, PTE, and IPE. In conclusion, the STVs maintain higher grain yield and PUE under the LP treatment, due mainly to their improved root and shoot agronomic and physiological traits, which provide valuable references for selecting for P-efficient rice varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • agronomic and physiological characteristics
  • grain yield
  • phosphorus use efficiency
  • rice (Oryza sativa L.)


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