Root acid phosphatases and rhizobacteria synergistically enhance white lupin and rice phosphorus acquisition

Mehtab Muhammad Aslam, José J Pueyo, Jiayin Pang, Jinyong Yang, Weiguo Chen, Hao Chen, Muhammad Waseem, Ying Li, Jianhua Zhang, Weifeng Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The rhizosheath is a belowground area that acts as a communication hub at the root–soil interface to promote water and nutrient acquisition. Certain crops, such as white lupin (Lupinus albus), acquire large amounts of phosphorus (P), owing partially to exudation of acid phosphatases (APases). Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria also increase soil P availability. However, potential synergistic effects of root APases and rhizosheath-associated microbiota on P acquisition require further research. In this study, we investigated the roles of root purple APases (PAPs) and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in rhizosheath formation and P acquisition under conditions of soil drying (SD) and P treatment (+ P: soil with P fertilizer; – P: soil without fertilizer). We expressed purple acid phosphatase12 (LaPAP12) in white lupin and rice (Oryza sativa) plants and analyzed the rhizosheath-associated microbiome. Increased or heterologous LaPAP12 expression promoted APase activity and rhizosheath formation, resulting in increased P acquisition mainly under SD–P conditions. It also increased the abundance of members of the genus Bacillus in the rhizosheath-associated microbial communities of white lupin and rice. We isolated a phosphate-solubilizing, auxin-producing Bacillus megaterium strain from the rhizosheath of white lupin and used this to inoculate white lupin and rice plants. Inoculation promoted rhizosheath formation and P acquisition, especially in plants with increased LaPAP12 expression and under SD–P conditions, suggesting a functional role of the bacteria in alleviating P deficit stress via rhizosheath formation. Together, our results suggest a synergistic enhancing effect of LaPAP12 and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on rhizosheath formation and P acquisition under SD–P conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2449-2465
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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